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The Guy Who Unknowingly 'Live-Blogged' the Bin Laden Raid

samzenpus posted about 8 months ago | from the where-are-they-now dept.

The Internet 142

netbuzz (955038) writes "Three years ago today, software consultant Sohaib Athar was working on his laptop at home in Pakistan when he tweeted: 'Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).' And then: 'A huge window-shaking bang here in Abbottabad Cantt. I hope it's not the start of something nasty :-S.' It was for Osama bin Laden. Today Athar says, 'People do bring it up every now and then.'"

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All these Traitors you have (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46896795)

Find zem und kill zem!

Re:All these Traitors you have (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46897299)

Find zem und kill zem!

The killing part is especially important for people such as Bin Laden, Saddam, Qadaffi, and so on. Can't have them actually on trial, they might have some things to say that would inconvenience the West. That might break the carefully crafted illusion of us being Good guys and hint at the fact that really there's only Bad guys.

All the rhetoric about "international law" and "bring them to justice" is fine in theory, so long as you simply kill them extrajudiciously in practice.

Re:All these Traitors you have (-1, Troll)

sjwt (161428) | about 8 months ago | (#46897439)

Bin Laden, Saddam, Qadaffi were happily living a life at the top of corporate america, just sitting quite on the dirt they could spill if they wanted to then america goes and kills them to keep em quit!!

are you fucking nuts? Speaking inconvenient things about the west was about all these guys did.

Re:All these Traitors you have (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46897569)

Bin Laden, Saddam, Qadaffi were happily living a life at the top of corporate america.

And after that nugget you proceed to call GP nuts? Just checking.

Re:All these Traitors you have (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 8 months ago | (#46898249)

-1 comprehension fail. The nugget is a quote from the (now +3 insightful?) parent post.

Re:All these Traitors you have (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46898625)

No, I don't think that was a quote from the +3 parent... Certainly not literally, which anyone can verify. Maybe he was paraphrasing, but inaccurately? The corporate bit came out of nowhere, for one thing.

Re:All these Traitors you have (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46897701)

Saddam had a trial though.

Re:All these Traitors you have (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46897745)

Well, yeah, sort of [wikipedia.org] .

Critics, including Saddam's legal counsel Khalil al-Dulaimi, alleged that American officials had a heavy influence on the court.[55] In a statement, Khalil said, "this court is a creature of the US military occupation, and the Iraqi court is just a tool and rubber stamp of the invaders."[56]

Khalil al-Dulaimi and various international commentators alleged that the date on which the verdict was read live to the world, 5 November 2006, was deliberately selected by the Bush Administration in order to influence the US midterm elections which occurred two days later. This has been called a November Surprise.[56][57] The verdict was expected to be on 16 October 2006, but was postponed to consider recalling some of the witnesses.[58] Even as the verdict was released verbally on 5 November, the written, final verdict was not released until days later.[59]

It is perhaps not very suprising that the defense in the case made such objections. But it hardly stops there:

The Washington Post reported that "Americans have drafted most of the statutes under which Hussein and his associates are being tried". It also reported that "A US official in Baghdad confirmed last weekend that only the United States and Britain had contributed experts to advise the court on how to prosecute governments for war crimes and other such matters".[60]

The human rights organization Amnesty International criticized the death sentence and said the trial was "deeply flawed and unfair." The process was marred by "serious flaws that call into question the capacity of the tribunal," Malcolm Stuart, director of Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa program, said. "In particular, political interference undermined the independence and impartiality of the court." [61] The specific concerns raised by Amnesty International included the status of the trial as a "Special Trial" (unconstitutional according to the Iraqi Constitution), political interference in trial proceedings by the removal of a judge mid-trial, exclusion of members of the defense team at points in the trial, assassination of multiple members of the defence team, and the closure of the trial before the defence team had completed presenting its legal case.

In the opening statement of the Jury of Conscience of the World Tribunal on Iraq, keynote speaker Arundhati Roy retorted, "Saddam Hussein is being tried as a war criminal even as we speak. But what about those who helped to install him in power, who armed him, who supported him—and who are now setting up a tribunal to try him and absolve themselves completely?"[62]

The Ayn Rand Institute argued that "A trial that presumes Hussein's innocence can achieve nothing but a travesty of justice": "Saddam Hussein is not a private citizen, whose guilt requires proof in an objective court of law, but a dictator whose incontestable evil was manifest to any rational observer of his tyranny."[63]

Re:All these Traitors you have (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46898303)

And would the same have come to the defense of Adolf Hitler? The two are similar. Well, same kind. I'd have put a bullet through his head. Either. No problem.

Anniversaries (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46896803)

Are not news. Especially not three year ones of some unimportant event that was barely news in the first place.

Slashdot has gone down the toilet.

Re:Anniversaries (1)

gmagill (105538) | about 8 months ago | (#46896823)

what event was unimportant?

Re:Anniversaries (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46896877)

The one that kept the GOP out of the whitehouse. Fag.

Re: Anniversaries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46896959)

The Democrats are in office now. It's safe to come out of the closet rather than just calling people fags

Re:Anniversaries (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46896879)

Any event involving sandniggers.

Re: Anniversaries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46896949)

The blogging, not Bin Laden's death

Re:Anniversaries (1)

CheezburgerBrown . (3417019) | about 8 months ago | (#46896873)

I mean, if you don't want to RTFA then just look past it.

It's not as if even half of the stories on /. are news worthy.

Anniversaries (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46897381)

Murder is never "unimportant" 3 years ago a man was murdered in his home, apparently an unarmed man. He was convicted of Nothing. Was not a national of any country that the United States was at war with (you can not declare war on an organisation or individual, only a nation. Something US presidents appear to conveniently forget)

My reaction on hearing the news was to wonder when the war crimes trial would be convened, I am still waiting. Who said that History is written by the victors.

The US currently has;
A War on drugs.... A total failure. But it does employ lots of people.
A war of Terror.... I am not even sire what that is! Does everyone get a security blanket stolen from Afghanistan or what. I assume the desired outcome is to make the little kiddies less scared It has achieved nothing substantive in a decade but also employs a lot of people..

Ipso facto: "War on" projects are actually failed employment projects to keep people in jobs and off the streets.

Re:Anniversaries (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46897985)

You're right. Poor guy. The world is a little bit worse now that he was untimely taken from us. Just think of all the good he still could have done for humanity.

Re:Anniversaries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46898497)

Except the guy they claim to have killed died nonviolently in December 2001 from kidney failure.

Re:Anniversaries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46897863)

Irony - Learn it mother fucker.

"Slashdot has gone down the toilet."
If that were true why bother with this shitty site?

Slow News Day at Slashdot (1, Insightful)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | about 8 months ago | (#46896827)

How old is this story?
ZZzzzzz....

Re:Slow News Day at Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46896939)

3 years and counting

People keep bringing it up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46897023)

Well, people do bring it up every now and then.

Re:Slow News Day at Slashdot (1)

Threni (635302) | about 8 months ago | (#46897353)

"'People do bring it up every now and then.'"

And when they don't, I remind them! It's kind of who I am. It's all I am. I have nothing. I'm so sad. Please kill me.

Pretty Interesting (4, Insightful)

junktext (676230) | about 8 months ago | (#46896951)

Hmm, that's kind of a neat story actually. Not sure what's with all the negative comments.

Re:Pretty Interesting (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 8 months ago | (#46897525)

because it happened so long ago already.

hell, "people bring it up sometimes".. what's next, a slashdot story about the time cops picked me up from the school to confiscate among other things floppies I had lying around on the floor while not confiscating one computer, and later returning all the stuff 2.5 years later? I mean fuck, it's a neat story and all but it's about 16 years late to publish as news now.

Re:Pretty Interesting (1)

junktext (676230) | about 8 months ago | (#46897723)

I hear you. But, you could create that story about the cops as a "historical analysis"! I'd read it and I think others should too in order to judge how well their authorities are competently applying justice. I think in some ways the article about the Bin Laden blogger was most interesting in how he criticized the media later on, which couldn't have been easily made into a news story at the time.

Re:Pretty Interesting (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 8 months ago | (#46897881)

Yeah, cool story bro.

"Three years ago today" (0, Flamebait)

xQx (5744) | about 8 months ago | (#46896965)

Sounds like a pretty lame excuse for Slashdot to publicise the day that the country with the biggest, most sophisticated, most expensive army in the world was finally able to track down and assassinate the man who evaded them for _NINE YEARS_.

The man who effectively declared war on the USA by murdering 1/50th the amount of 'innocent' civilians as the USA did in Japan 66 years prior.

Re:"Three years ago today" (1, Insightful)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 8 months ago | (#46897137)

While living in a cave...

We're talking about the same country who got its ass kicked by vietcongs for at least two decades (while using Napalm). Ass kicked in Afghanistan by people using weapons the CIA gave them back in the late '70s when Brejnev invaded their country and IEDs. The same country that declared WAR against Irak because of WMDs (Oil), but was the only one to use them... Twice... Hiroshima August 6th 1945... Enola Gay...Little Boy...Gun Type 16kT. Nagasaki August 9th 1945... Bockscar...Fat Man...Implosion type 21kT.

Other designs were planned. We're talking about weapon testing... If the war wasn't over back in the old countries, they would *never* have dropped a nuclear weapon in europe.

Re:"Three years ago today" (4, Insightful)

dave1791 (315728) | about 8 months ago | (#46897555)

You are trolling, but I'll still bite.

While living in a cave...

We're talking about the same country who got its ass kicked by vietcongs for at least two decades (while using Napalm). Ass kicked in Afghanistan by people using weapons the CIA gave them back in the late '70s when Brejnev invaded their country and IEDs. .

Interestingly, this is is a time honored methodology for fighting against a much stronger force and is exactly how I would fight against the US, NATO, Russia, China, etc. if I were in a small country. Take to the hills, don't expose yourself to pitched battles that you will lose anyway and subject your opponent to death by a thousand paper cuts. Americans themselves successfully used this methodology against the British between 1775 and 1781.

The only real ways to fight against it are to either make yourself more popular among the populace than the resistance force (VERY difficult to do) or go full Ghengis Khan.

but was the only one to use them... Twice... Hiroshima August 6th 1945... Enola Gay...Little Boy...Gun Type 16kT. Nagasaki August 9th 1945... Bockscar...Fat Man...Implosion type 21kT.

Other designs were planned. We're talking about weapon testing... If the war wasn't over back in the old countries, they would *never* have dropped a nuclear weapon in europe.

So..... its the summer of 1945. YOU are Harry Truman. The war has killed, what 50 million people so far. The battle of Okinawa has just finished and it killed.... oh about 200,000 people. (about half being soldiers of the two side and the rest civilians). That was essentially the dress rehearsal for the invasion of Japan itself. You've just been told about these new kinds of bombs. What would you do? Try to finish the war off by using them and then bluffing the Japanese by saying you have a thousand (you don't. you have two) or go ahead with the invasion?

Re:"Three years ago today" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46897595)

What would you do? Try to finish the war off by using them and then bluffing the Japanese by saying you have a thousand (you don't. you have two) or go ahead with the invasion?

I'd just accept the Japanese surrender but then I don't need to make a point to Stalin.

Re:"Three years ago today" (4, Insightful)

gtall (79522) | about 8 months ago | (#46897671)

You are aware that Japan only surrendered after the A-bombs, right? And the U.S. was encouraging Stalin to open up another front for the Japanese in the hopes the U.S. wouldn't have to invade. MacArthur was all for invasion. The most in the Japanese military were all for dying until the last man, woman, and child. They had armed the populace with pitchforks and was teaching them how to gut an American GI. The Emperor signed off on the surrender and parts of the Japanese military attempted a coup but were put down due to some loyal (to the Emperor). Okinawa was only the last of a string of very bloody islands where most Japanese fought until they died or attempted to surrender to get close enough to American GIs to kill them with a grenade. Iwo Jima, Tinian, Saipan, Guam, all were nasty, brutish fights and the Japanese were flinging Kamikazis against American ships.

Fortunately, Admiral Nimitz knew better than to attempt an invasion of Japan and was against it. Germany was already gone, but it took many American lives and the wounded were arriving back in the U.S. with horrific injuries. Truman had to tell the American people the war wasn't over yet because an uncowed Japan would surely attempt to reconstruct its empire. Japanese atrocities in the Pacific and certainly China were legendary. The Pacific campaign had also claimed many American lives and wounded.

Now you sin in Truman's office. Some on his military staff tell you invasion is the only way...estimated U.S. casualties: 250,000 up to 1 million (they couldn't be sure other than the figure was appalling). Some on his military staff tell you the invasion is not necessary. You dither for about 3 months, bombing Japan is certainly reducing the country but they won't surrender. Now one of your secret projects offers a chance to blow some sense into the stiff-necked Japanese. Do you (a) take it, (b) invade at horrible cost, (c) do nothing and attempt to keep a war going that is fast losing support, (d) declare victory believing you will have to come back and fight the war again in 10 years? You have to decide Mr. President.

Re:"Three years ago today" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46898227)

The A-Bombs are not what did in the Japanese. The damage inflicted by the A-Bombs on the two cities didn't even match the worst damage done to several other cities with conventional weapons.

What did the Japanese in was Russia's declaration of war against them.

Re:"Three years ago today" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46898345)

The damage inflicted by the A-Bombs on the two cities didn't even match the worst damage done to several other cities with conventional weapons.

That's why deploying the bombs was actually preferable to continuing in a long drawn out war.

The A-Bombs are not what did in the Japanese...What did the Japanese in was Russia's declaration of war against them.

It's psychological damage vs. actual damage. The bomb demoralized the crap out of Japan. It was an awesome sight.

Re:"Three years ago today" (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | about 8 months ago | (#46898533)

It's an awesome sight, and then the Japanese government was told that the U.S. had another thousand bombs of the same caliber.

The Japanese command crunched the numbers and saw that it would exterminate their race. More importantly, it showed them unequivocally that the Japanese were inferior to U.S. firepower and technological prowess.

Missing option.. (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 8 months ago | (#46898743)

e) listen to the collective advice of the people who have just delivered the "ultimate weapon" to you. [atomicheritage.org]

This interview with Feynman [youtube.com] talks about his elation at ending the war followed by a deep nihilistic anger at society. Oppenheimer came to deeply regret [youtube.com] his stiff opposition to the petition after he saw the destruction in Japan, he confessed that urging the president to use the bomb on civilians without warning was a "mistake".

Re:Missing option.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46900055)

So the question still stands: If the bomb shouldn't have been used, what were the alternatives, and how would the consequences of such options measure up against what really happened?

Re:"Three years ago today" (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 8 months ago | (#46900729)

The most in the Japanese military were all for dying until the last man, woman, and child. They had armed the populace with pitchforks and was teaching them how to gut an American GI.

This is simply not true. You are repeating propaganda that was hard to believe even at the time. By that stage in the war the majority of Japanese were against the war and would not have fought if invaded anyway. Many of them were struggling just to survive due to lack of food and other essentials. A GI with a food parcel would have been welcomed, as they were after the surrender.

The stories of suicide attacks against US troops are true. Those people were trying to cover the retreat of the main Japanese forces and protect civilians. Looking at it from their point of view the US was killing a lot of innocent people, even if not deliberately. There was no fanatical brain washing going on, it was just the usual stuff that happens in war. It happened in Europe too, with British troops using suicide attacks and fighting to the last man to cover their comrades' retreat.

Thing is, we will never know now. A bomb detonated in some remote place or on an island could have ended the war with minimal casualties. Longer could have been given after the first bomb for Japan to surrender. Instead the US went directly to testing on civilians, not once but twice. Trying to present the false choices you present as the only ones is simply a straw man argument. Explain why two bombs had to be dropped so close to each other on civilians, instead of a demonstration or longer pause.

Re:"Three years ago today" (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 8 months ago | (#46898299)

You really need to read up on the japanese.

a) they were not surrendering

b) the civilians (not just the military) were prepared to fight to the death (with regular training with improvised weapons in school) and commit suicide if they couldn't win (there are movies of japanese civilians in okinawa raining over the cliffs like lemmings). Point is- the number of japanese deaths from an invasion would have been much larger than the deaths from the nuclear attacks.

c) the military in japan wasn't going to follow the normal rules of war and had already told the american prisoners that they would be killed when japan was invaded (only the use of nukes stopped them).

d) the japanese stated strategy was to fight until the americans suffered so many casualties that the american's gave up without the need for japan to surrender

e) Based on experience fighting other japanese island strongholds, the invasion of japan was estimated to be 1.7â"4 million American casualties, including 400,000â"800,000 fatalities, and five to ten million Japanese fatalities.

g) The firebombing of Tokyo ALONE killed 100,000 people. It would have been repeated many times in every other city during an invasion.

h) The americans at the time had no real clue about radiation. They were buying radioactive tonics and glassware for their houses; they were walking through and standing in radioactive wastes after the tests. The A Bomb was functionally just a "big bomb" to them.

I'm sure there is an i) thru z) too.

The japanese military was more akin to the SS than to the Weirmarct. And the japanese emperor was much more akin to a deity than Hitler was. And japanese soil was *sacred* to the civilians.

Re:"Three years ago today" (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 8 months ago | (#46897895)

So..... its the summer of 1945. YOU are Harry Truman. The war has killed, what 50 million people so far. The battle of Okinawa has just finished and it killed.... oh about 200,000 people. (about half being soldiers of the two side and the rest civilians). That was essentially the dress rehearsal for the invasion of Japan itself. You've just been told about these new kinds of bombs. What would you do? Try to finish the war off by using them and then bluffing the Japanese by saying you have a thousand (you don't. you have two) or go ahead with the invasion?

Well, I'd consider that the Russians are looking to enter the war. Japan is starved of pretty much everything, including food, oil and other materials necessary for war. Intelligence is telling me that there is pressure from the top down for Japan to surrender, and most of the senior military personnel consider the war un-winnable and are hoping for a truce. Even my own advisors are saying Tokyo won't hold out for more than a few more weeks.

So basically I have this devastating new weapon that I know other countries are trying to develop. Not much is known about its effects, particularly on cities and people, and here is an opportunity to test it out with easy justification. I don't want Russia to get involved either, so there is pressure to do the tests quickly rather than say hitting some remote area or an island as a demonstration to see if surrender is forthcoming (and that would mean no human subject testing either).

So fuck it, nuke those slanty eyed devils. It's the only option to save millions of Americans.

Re:"Three years ago today" (1)

Grey Geezer (2699315) | about 8 months ago | (#46898557)

Americans themselves successfully used this methodology against the British between 1775 and 1781.

True.
  It is said that North Vietnamese war leader Ho Chi Minh admired George Washington because of his successful use of guerrilla war against the British.

Re:"Three years ago today" (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 8 months ago | (#46897769)

Only because the USA'ians fight civilized.

The war in afganastan would have been over in 8 minutes, re-target the missiles, spool them up and launch... *Boom* glass bowl, and most of region dead from radiation poison in the next few months. Or carpet bomb the area for 2 months straight, etc....

You prefer the USA play with the big weapons or attempt a civilized fight against uncivilized wild animals that uses children and women as bombs and shields?

Dude, everyone knows that the Islamist extremists are fucking rabid animals, even Iran has denounced the Extremists as dogs that need to be put down.

Re:"Three years ago today" (1)

stdarg (456557) | about 8 months ago | (#46898835)

Iran certainly denounces violent Sunni Muslims who go around attacking Shias. But violent Shia Muslims who go around attacking Sunnis (or Christians, or Jews, or..) are great people just fighting for freedom and peace!

Re:"Three years ago today" (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about 8 months ago | (#46900033)

Ass kicked in Afghanistan by people using weapons the CIA gave them back in the late '70s when Brejnev invaded their country and IEDs.

How is it that opponents of the war in Afghanistan both claim a) we got our ass kicked and b) we killed hundreds of thousands of Afghans in retaliation for only a few thousand of our people? Can they not see that these are conflicting statements?

Re:"Three years ago today" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46897189)

Sounds like a pretty lame excuse for Slashdot to publicise the day that the country with the biggest, most sophisticated, most expensive army in the world was finally able to track down and assassinate the man who evaded them for _NINE YEARS_.

The man who effectively declared war on the USA by murdering 1/50th the amount of 'innocent' civilians as the USA did in Japan 66 years prior.

Your comment sounds like you are not happy with both Slashdot and USA - all the Muslim terrorists (and the Japanese imperialists... and many left-wing nutcases... and those that oppose "beta"!) feel the same as you and support your mission to inform the public about the evil USA but in my opinion the fact that the USA army managed to find him is impressive because i know how difficult is to find a rat that hides in a rat's nest - and that rat didn't declared war on the USA only but to the whole Western Civilization (and as a Greek who feels proud because my great ancestors helped build that civilization i thank the USA for exterminating such rats).

Re:"Three years ago today" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46897601)

Look you stupid Greek bastard, American Democracy was ripped from the Iroquois Confederacy not the boy fuckers from Athens.

Re:"Three years ago today" (5, Interesting)

gman003 (1693318) | about 8 months ago | (#46897297)

The man who effectively declared war on the USA by murdering 1/50th the amount of 'innocent' civilians as the USA did in Japan 66 years prior.

I really, really, hate people who point to the atomic bombings as proof that America is evil. The only way you can even remotely make that claim is by ignoring every reality of war and by using your modern knowledge of how things *did* happen to damn those who had to make the decision without the benefit of knowing how it turns out.

Believe it or not, there are often things that are justifiable in a war that would otherwise be unthinkable.

War - total war, on the scale of nations - is a constant question of choosing the lesser evil. There are very rarely good options to take - if there were, there would not have been a war in the first place.

We haven't had a war like that since WW2, so I suppose it's excusable that people forget just how much death and destruction it causes. The numbers can be a bit hard to wrap your head around, after all.

The two atomic bombings killed a quarter million people. On its own, that's horrifying. In the context of the Second World War, that's a rounding error. Some countries were literally decimated - over ten percent of their prewar population dead. Compared to Germany, Japan got off light.

Let's look at the alternative to the A-bombs. Japan was not going to surrender - even after losing Manchuria to the Soviets, they were still ready to fight. So we were looking at an invasion - and after Iwo Jima, we knew it would not be an easy fight. Estimated Allied killed were in the hundreds of thousands to millions - Japanese casualties, military and civilian, are incalculable, particularly since the plans that did not involve nuclear weapons generally involved chemical weapons in their stead. Some plans involved both, on top of the more mundane horrors of a million-man invasion force. Oh, and if you delay it too long, the Soviets will probably invade, and they barely cared about their own casualties, much less enemy noncombatants.

There *was* no good option there. Japan was going to get pounded. The least evil option was whichever one ended the war fastest - and that option is using whatever weapons you have available to force your opponent to surrender. If that means firebombing cities, so be it. If that means atomic bombs, so be it. Because if you hold back, all you're doing is making the war last longer, which means not only do more of your own people die, but in the long run, more of theirs do too.

There are plenty of justifiable ways to claim that America is evil - pretty much anything done in the past decade counts, really. You don't need to make shit up about the atomic bombings in order to wedge it into an unrelated argument.

PS: Hiroshima was a major military city during 1945, with both a major command center, as well as a supply hub and munitions stockpile. Nagasaki was a major munitions industrial center. Calling them "innocent civilians" is at best misinformed.

Re:"Three years ago today" (5, Insightful)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | about 8 months ago | (#46897329)

I add the following for your consideration.

After dropping those two bombs, nobody on Earth has ever dropped one since. Think about that for a second. Yes, they have been tested, but never once dropped in anger since the first two. And all nuclear-capable countries between the 50s and the 80s have had was at some point to consider using them. All of them treated them as retaliation weapons, only to be used if they were shot at first.

So let us treat Hiroshima and Nagasaki as the ignorant first use of an unknown technology that it was and accept that the world went through a massive, rapid learning curve and HAVE NOT USED THEM SINCE.

Re:"Three years ago today" (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 8 months ago | (#46898079)

YET! All it takes is someone with in insane cult of personality in authority to use the bomb. That, or under the guise of some religious prophetic movement. It's one thing if you fear losing it all, it's quite another if losing is required to "win".

Re: "Three years ago today" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46898409)

ðYZ Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb bomb Iran ðYZ

Re:"Three years ago today" (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 8 months ago | (#46898231)

I doubt that the US or Russia had any moral qualms about using atomic weapons because of what they learned from the attacks on Japan. It was simply that their mutual destruction was assured. In fact both sides had plans to attack first if they thought they could get their own casualties down to an acceptable number of millions while annihilating the opposition.

Re:"Three years ago today" (1)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | about 8 months ago | (#46898631)

I'm thinking of the days before MAD. By the start of the Korean war, the Soviets had tested one device only. Some might have entered service by the time of the war, but the Americans still had the upper hand with nuclear weapons at that time.

There was arguments to use them, and Truman did go so far as to release them to the theater, but he never dropped them. Nor did Ike when he won the election. There seemed to be a reluctance to use them even before the whole arms race and MAD became what it did.

Now generals and admirals would probably have tossed the things around like fire-crackers, and they definitely had plans for first-strike use, but the civilian bosses are the ones who were reluctant when it came to their use.

Re:"Three years ago today" (2)

ganjadude (952775) | about 8 months ago | (#46898287)

simple reason why, If someone other than the US or russia used it, we would return with 10 nukes. using a nuke today would literally be annihilation for whatever country used them

Re:"Three years ago today" (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about 8 months ago | (#46897343)

The man who effectively declared war on the USA by murdering 1/50th the amount of 'innocent' civilians as the USA did in Japan 66 years prior.

I really, really, hate people who point to the atomic bombings as proof that America is evil. The only way you can even remotely make that claim is by ignoring every reality of war and by using your modern knowledge of how things *did* happen to damn those who had to make the decision without the benefit of knowing how it turns out.

Believe it or not, there are often things that are justifiable in a war that would otherwise be unthinkable.

.

Absolutely. The Japanese then were like Muslims are now - believing they were on a divine mission and that anyone who stood in the way of their divine right should be killed without mercy in the most unpleasant way possible. There will be time when muslims will use nuclear weapons, then our big regret will be that we had not used them earlier

Re:"Three years ago today" (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 8 months ago | (#46897423)

There will be time when muslims will use nuclear weapons, then our big regret will be that we had not used them earlier

Well, it depends on where they use them first, doesn't it?

Re:"Three years ago today" (2)

dave420 (699308) | about 8 months ago | (#46897553)

You are comparing an entire country to a religion's entire followers, which makes you a fool. A racist, ignorant fool.

Re:"Three years ago today" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46897631)

That isn't racist. They aren't a race. Muslims aren't a race. Stop this stupidity and get out of here. Seriously, just go. Go to Reddit or something.

Re:"Three years ago today" (1)

gtall (79522) | about 8 months ago | (#46897687)

In pre-war and during war Japan, the emperor was the living G-d on earth. Yes, the country did have a religion that they fanatically believed in. The analogy stands.

Re:"Three years ago today" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46898541)

This. Shinto and Islam are quite similar religions. That's why MacArthur banned its practice.

Re:"Three years ago today" (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 8 months ago | (#46898413)

The emperor was a god on earth and japanese ground was sacred.
Propaganda in schools was comprehensive.
Many japanese civilians and military were suicidal and didn't view non-japanese as entirely human. (Rape of nanking, bataan death march, etc. etc. etc.).

Were there exceptions in a population of tens of millions- absolutely. There were thousands of pro american japanese- some who fought reluctantly- some who refused to fight (Jehova's Witnesses are mentioned specifically). However- when you look into them- MOST of them had to flee for their lives early during or before the war.

Even being japanese didn't protect you from being killed or tortured if you didn't get with the program. Even conscientious objectors were imprisoned and sentenced to be executed.

By 1944 what was left was pretty toxic and united.

Re:"Three years ago today" (3, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 8 months ago | (#46897651)

Thank God, USA had real leaders who realized that we were fighting the Japanese government and the military, not the citizenry, even though the widespread support of the citizenry was why their military was that powerful and that destructive. After the V-J day, we allowed Emperor Akito to continue to be the head of state. But we did dismiss him from the position of Living God, making him the only living ex-God ever. We poured money to rebuild both Japan and Germany.

Winston Churchill said the World War II did not begin in 1939, but in 1919 when the Versailles Treaty was signed with punitive sanctions against Germany. That is a lesson they are learnt well, they did not treat Germany and Japan they way losers of WW-I were treated. That is how we avoided WW-III.

If we maintain the distinction, realizing we are not fighting all the Muslims, but only the small section of leaders who whip up the passion we will be able to pacify them as we pacified Japan. Think about it, if someone told Americans in 1944, "we are going to pacify Japan, not subjugate them, not conquer them, but truly make friends out of them" how it would have been received. Now substitute Muslim instead of Japan and see how incredulous most Americans would be. But we did make friends, or at least a reasonable approximation of friend, out of Japan.

Re:"Three years ago today" (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 8 months ago | (#46900663)

USA had real leaders who realized that we were fighting the Japanese government and the military, not the citizenry

Then why not nuke military-only targets, or demonstrate the weapon first? Why skip directly to nuking people who you were not even fighting?

This is the question no apologist can ever answer. Why not a demonstration first, to give Japan the opportunity to surrender?

Re:"Three years ago today" (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 8 months ago | (#46898295)

Absolutely. The Japanese then were like Muslims are now - believing they were on a divine mission and that anyone who stood in the way of their divine right should be killed without mercy in the most unpleasant way possible. There will be time when muslims will use nuclear weapons, then our big regret will be that we had not used them earlier

No, they really were not.

They were building an empire in the parts of China and Korea they invaded, mainly because they wanted the natural resources. Attacking the US was a desperate move. They knew there was no chance that they would be able to defeat the US, invade and take over such a vast area. Their goal was to cripple the Pacific fleet and stave off what they saw as an inevitable attack long enough to build up their own fleet into a permanent deterrent.

Why did they think the US was going to attack them? Some in the US government had been pushing for the US to join the war effort, and Japan was allied with Germany. Japan though that economic factors would be the deciding ones, particularly the fact that a war effort would inject a lot of money into the US economy and cause it to boom after the long recession of the 30s. As it turned out that is exactly what happened.

The Japanese were never religious extremists. There were some people who used religion to justify their actions, but the people pushing for war were basically pragmatists. They were wrong to do what they did, obviously, but their logic was never "because god will reward me".

Re:"Three years ago today" (2)

blackest_k (761565) | about 8 months ago | (#46897417)

Was there a real need to drop a second bomb? Certainly seems like nobody wants to use the third bomb.

Re:"Three years ago today" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46897441)

Well, there's a sort of one-many dichotomy in the thinking. Maybe the US was able to make one bomb. But if they were able to make two, then it's a plausible scenario (albeit a bluff at that time) that they have many such bombs.

Re:"Three years ago today" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46897499)

Japan did not surrender after the first bomb, but they did after the second. The second "proved" to them how quickly the US could deploy these weapons; a bit of mental math convinced Japan that they'd be entirely destroyed by nuclear weapons within months if the US kept it up. Specifically they were also terrified that Tokyo and the Imperial Palace would be next.

Re:"Three years ago today" (1)

Alomex (148003) | about 8 months ago | (#46897839)

They were convinced America couldn't possibly have a second one, and if they did, maybe that was their last one, and hence decided not to surrender. When the second one was dropped in such short succession they realized there were a lot more where that came from and finally decided to surrender.

Re:"Three years ago today" (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 8 months ago | (#46899021)

We were using them as fast as they could be made - a third one was being prepared when the surrender happened, and was later used in the Operation Crossroads test. Dozens more were in production (military command was split as to whether to continue firing them indefinitely, or to build a stockpile to use during the invasion they still thought might be necessary).

The atomic bombs alone did not end the war, simply because they were not all that powerful. All they really did was condense a massed air bombing (as in Tokyo or Dresden) into a single bomb. It is later, far more powerful bombs that established them in our cultural memory as unendurably devastating.

Re:"Three years ago today" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46897429)

"Believe it or not, there are often things that are justifiable in a war that would otherwise be unthinkable."

The reasoning of every war criminal.

Re:"Three years ago today" (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 8 months ago | (#46897511)

And every other member of any armed force. It's sort of what a war is. What's your point?

Re:"Three years ago today" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46897519)

Believe it or not, there are often things that are justifiable in a war that would otherwise be unthinkable.

So how does that work when you're perpetually at war?
Especially when you are at war with concepts?

the atomic bombings as proof that America is evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46897541)

The first bombing of a civilian population with nuclear weapons was 'questionable', given the understanding of consequences of that action, the second bombing was evil as is the term enemy noncombatants. Re-writing/defining the terms used to describe those you murder in large numbers is fatuous at best.

Re:"Three years ago today" (2)

kyrsjo (2420192) | about 8 months ago | (#46897603)

I really, really, hate people who point to the atomic bombings as proof that America is evil. The only way you can even remotely make that claim is by ignoring every reality of war and by using your modern knowledge of how things *did* happen to damn those who had to make the decision without the benefit of knowing how it turns out.

There is a bigger issue with the statement "America is evil" than hindsigth being 20/20 - all countries are composed of a lot of people, some good and some bad. At most one could claim that the *leadership* is evil, but claiming that the whole country is evil due to the actions of a few just doesn't work. A similar, modern day example is claiming that Israelis (or all jews, if you really want to put on the brown shirt...) are evil due to some of the actions of their governement being debatable morally. Or all muslims being evil due to the actions of a few madmen etc.

The other issue is the time - very few if any of the people involved in building and dropping the atomic bombs on Japan are still alive. You can't blame their kids and grandkids for the actions of their ancestors. Same goes for Germany - you can't really blame the people who live there today for what happened during WWII, even if many people who wherent even born during that war still have guilt complexes.

Re:"Three years ago today" (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 8 months ago | (#46898333)

There is a bigger issue with the statement "America is evil" than hindsigth being 20/20 - all countries are composed of a lot of people, some good and some bad. At most one could claim that the *leadership* is evil, but claiming that the whole country is evil due to the actions of a few just doesn't work. A similar, modern day example is claiming that Israelis (or all jews, if you really want to put on the brown shirt...) are evil due to some of the actions of their governement being debatable morally. Or all muslims being evil due to the actions of a few madmen etc.

In any democracy the electorate must accept responsibility for the actions of government. The degree of responsibility varies. Those who voted for the government bare the most, followed by those who voted for other candidates who would have done the same thing or supported the government anyway. Then you have those who voted against the evil actions of the government, and finally those who protested against those actions.

You also have to consider how much the electorate was deceived and lied to, and how corrupt the system is and what they are doing about that.

I voted for the government that invaded Afghanistan and Iraq in the early 2000s. I regretted it and protested against the wars, as did a couple of million other people. Even so, I bare some responsibility for what happened, and feel guilty about it.

Re:"Three years ago today" (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 8 months ago | (#46897785)

The atomic bombs were on par with what we did to Berlin with standard bombs.

We talk about the horror of Okinawa, look at what days upon days of firebombing Berlin and Germany did.
The fires were so hot that some basement shelters when opened burst into flames when Oxygen got into them, and this was days after we stopped bombing. Civilians hiding in a bomb shelter cooked to death from the heat.

War is not pretty or civilized. We attempt to make it that way, but honestly It's humanity's dark evil underbelly that proves we are barely out of the caves.

Re:"Three years ago today" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46898301)

There was another way. Assassinate the Emperor.

Up until after WWII, the mainline Japanese religions honestly believed that the Emperor was their god and that they were acting on divine orders, much like the Muslim extremist groups of today. This is why they were willing to kamikaze, or blow themselves up with grenades in false surrenders, or rush the Allied soldiers with katanas. If the Allies could get two planes loaded with atomic bombs past Japan's aerial defenses, it should've been trivial to merely bomb the Emperor with conventional explosives instead. Emperor dies, Japanese realize that hey, if he got the crap bombed out of him maybe he's not actually a god, and they'd be much more willing to surrender.

Re:"Three years ago today" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46899585)

If the Allies could get two planes loaded with atomic bombs past Japan's aerial defenses, it should've been trivial to merely bomb the Emperor with conventional explosives instead. Emperor dies, Japanese realize that hey, if he got the crap bombed out of him maybe he's not actually a god, and they'd be much more willing to surrender.

0) The current extremist groups have no centralized authority figure to take out. They all follow their own respective preachers.

1) Japan had no/negligible air defense left at that point. Getting a couple of planes in was trivially easy. The most difficult problem with target selection for the bombs was in finding a city that we hadn't mostly bombed to rubble.

2)Taking out Hirohito - would have guaranteed that any remaining political power went straight the hands of the Japanese military. You know, the people who actually did try to depose the Emperor when they heard he wanted to surrender.

Your "solution" would have made it less likely, not more likely, that we would have follow up the two first two atomic bombings with a third, followed by a series of conventional firebombings over every population concentration, and then with a land invasion. It would have resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of Japanese civilians and millions of American servicement.

I award you no points, and may FSM have mercy upon your soul.

Re:"Three years ago today" (1)

Goaway (82658) | about 8 months ago | (#46898685)

Japan was not going to surrender

Japan was in the process of working out how to surrender. They were quite interested in doing just that.

You have been taught different just to justify the misdeeds of your country.

Re:"Three years ago today" (2)

TheSync (5291) | about 8 months ago | (#46900793)

Japan was in the process of working out how to surrender.

Next time, surrender faster.

Or even better, don't even send a two million soldiers into China to turn it into a Japanese colony, killing 4 million Chinese and leaving 60 million homeless.

Re:"Three years ago today" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46897625)

If it wasn't for those pesky caves and their bad wireless reception, he'd never have been caught.

Oh wait, that was the other other terrorist. You ruined my joke before I could even submit it, damn it brain.

Re:"Three years ago today" (0)

Lumpy (12016) | about 8 months ago | (#46897755)

There are men who are inside the United states that have evaded the best agents for longer than that. They still have not found the Atlanta Olympics bomber.

Re:"Three years ago today" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46900767)

What are you talking about [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:"Three years ago today" (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 8 months ago | (#46898257)

there is a huge difference between japan then and the twin towers.

The city was selected for the nukes specifically because it was a military manufacturing city. Yes, there were "innocent" japanese people who died, it also was a declared war. You cannot even try and compare hijacking a plane and slamming it into a building, in peacetime - to do so shows pure ignorance of reality

Re:"Three years ago today" (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 8 months ago | (#46899203)

I'm not so sure.

What did it cost Osama to attack us (well under a hundred million dollars-- probably under 10 million dollars).

What did it cost us to find attack Osama?
Close to a trillion dollars.

How much did it cost us to hold up our economy after the Twin Tower Attack?
Several Trillion dollars.

How much have we spent to prevent another attack?
At least a hundred million dollars.

How much did we spend on the middle east war?
2 to 3 trillion.

---

His attack was effective.

Remember when Osama got iced? (1)

Sigvatr (1207234) | about 8 months ago | (#46896969)

I remember when that happened.

Re:Remember when Osama got iced? (-1, Troll)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 8 months ago | (#46896981)

remember the other osama taking 100% credit it for.

Obama is Osama! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46897027)

Their names only differ by one letter, they look quite similar in skin tone, and we still haven't seen Obama's real birth certificate! And look at all these socialist programs Obama is starting to try to take down the US's economy! And have we seen Osama's body? No, we just saw some casket dumped into the sea. Open your eyes America!

Re:Obama is Osama! (1, Troll)

quenda (644621) | about 8 months ago | (#46897083)

You ignore the key difference in that Osama was so conservative (and charismatic), if he'd lived in America he'd probably have had his own talk show on Fox news.

Re:Remember when Osama got iced? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46897045)

I remember that they said they did it but disposed of all the evidence at sea so nobody else could be sure.

Re:Remember when Osama got iced? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46897281)

I remember it being reported.

I also remember there being no trial and no showing of the corpse or even videos shown to prove that the events took place as reported.

test (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46897065)

You dumbfucks suck ass.

Joke's on us (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46897113)

bin Laden has his 72 Virgins and we're stuck with O-bummer...

Actually joke is on the guy with the 72 virgins (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46897257)

You know, virgins aren't all that great, a novelty item. Truth is a couple of sluts is a lot more fun, a lot more.

Re:Actually joke is on the guy with the 72 virgins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46897395)

You know, virgins aren't all that great, a novelty item. Truth is a couple of sluts is a lot more fun, a lot more.

I prefer slutty virgins myself... %)

Re:Actually joke is on the guy with the 72 virgins (1)

sjwt (161428) | about 8 months ago | (#46897473)

A lot of those on slashdot, its a pretty good ratio, if you like Y's

omg just saw an apache helicopter @binladen (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46897169)

brb guyz gotta go check out this @usa apache helicopter lololololz #yolo!

Smiley (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 8 months ago | (#46897565)

A huge window-shaking bang here in Abbottabad Cantt. I hope it's not the start of something nasty :-S

Heh, I just love the ":-S" smiley there. I can totally relate to the feeling it describes.

There was no proof (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46898205)

There was no proof that Osama Bin Laden orchestrated the 9/11 attacks. That is why he wasn't listed on the FBI's most wanted website for the 9/11 attacks.

There was also no proof that he was killed in that raid.

The most wanted man in the world; the American symbol of evil and terror in the 21st century, and he is supposedly killed by a seal team and his body dumped in the ocean. No video, no photos, no trophies, no proof whatsoever!

Then the helicopter full of soldiers who allegedly killed Bin Laden - the witnesses - crashed and killed everyone.

Something smells fishy.

I Don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46898677)

Bin Laden died nonviolently in December 2001 from kidney failure.

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