Mailvox: Bombing Palookaville

Palooka pokes his head up:

You are full of bluster, and low on reason. Every one of your supposed keen insights is only formed from historical hindsight. This, again, does not tell us if they made the “right” decision then, it only tells us what looks like the right decision NOW. Yes, we now know that America had a decisive advantage in industrial capacity, an advantage known then as well, but the planners in World War 2 did not know for certain what was in store for the Pacific coast of the US. Full invasion seemed unlikely, though distantly possible nevertheless. Industrial and military sabotage were very real possibilities, despite your baseless protestations to the contrary.

Which of the facts I’ve cited are hindsight, Palooka? The distance between Japanese naval bases and the West Coast? The number of ships in the Japanese Navy? The IJN’s ocean transport capability? The delta in productive capability? You and I probably know less now than the war planners knew then. You have completely misunderstood the implication of the production statistics, which serve to demonstrate that even if Japanese raiders and saboteurs had been far, far more successful than is conceivable, it would not have slowed, much less crippled the war effort, as Malkin weirdly insists. They were very real possibilities; they were also irrelevant and therefore fail to justify the internment case.

Malkin’s work is probably full of holes, but what you and Eric Muller have offered is nothing but petty quibling here and there. Get to the subtance of her critique. The relative strengths of Japan’s army and navy means little in that debate. If the Japanese population posed a threat or an impedience to victory, then the logic stands.

Petty quibbling? My entire case consists of the assertion that the Japanese population posed zero threat to impeding or even slowing victory. To declare that the relative strength of the US and Japanese forces and industrial capacities have little relevance to that case defies logic.

I also think you blow the internment reality out of proportion. The sad thing is it was unnecessary, not that it happened. Many non Japanese were interned for little reason and I don’t see you comparing their plight to summary executions.

Clearly you understand Malkin’s case no better than you understand mine. Her entire defense of internment is that it was necessary. I have demonstrated that it was not, as you apparently accept.

Like America posed no threat to Japan and Germany in 1941? All of you seem to taken the conclusion of World War to for granted. I don’t.

Considering that Winston Churchill took the conclusion for granted as early as December 1941 – see his History of the Second World War – and as every modern military officer to whom I have spoken agrees that the end result was not only inevitable but known by their predecessors to have been inevitable, I’m very comfortable with the company I’m in. The only serious question was how the post-war situation would sort itself out vis-a-vis the Soviet Union. Had the Brits and Americans been able to mount Overlord in early 1943, as originally planned, Eastern Europe might not have fallen behind the Iron Curtain. But that is truly hindsight, as the timing of the German retreat would have been very difficult to predict, even if the conclusion became inevitable once it was clear that the Germans had failed to capture Stalin or destroy the Soviets’ production facilities in 1941.

In every war, there is a turning point where the end is in sight. Sometimes, that point can only be seen in hindsight. In other cases, the inevitable is obvious from the start. WWII was not an inevitable Allied victory. Had Germany been true to its treaty with the Soviet Union, England might well have eventually fallen. But once the alliances were established, USA, USSR and the UK vs Nazi Germany and Japan, the end was clearly in sight.

I realize that this can’t possibly convince everyone, as there are even those who seriously believe that Islamic militants could defeat the USA, ignoring the fact that the entire Islamic world have not been able to defeat Israel despite six decades of trying. As with all great historical powers, America will eventually fall due to internal decay; the growing strength of its central government being a terminal cancer confused with muscle by the fatally unwise.