×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

182 comments

North Korea and Burma (5, Interesting)

DCTech (2545590) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627894)

North Korea knows fully well people are constantly spying their area. That's why much more interesting thing is that they're likely developing nuclear sites with Burma/Myanmar [bbc.co.uk], deeply within the jungle and inside caves in mountains. They were doing business together back in 2004 too.

The North Koreans, aided by Burmese workers, are constructing a concrete-reinforced underground facility that is '500ft from the top of the cave to the top of the hill above'," reads the cable, published by the Guardian newspaper.

Some 300 North Koreans were working at the site, the authors said, although the cable suggested this number was improbably high.

The BBC's diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says that for months there have been persistent reports in the press and specialised journals suggesting that Burma is building a nuclear facility with North Korean help.

Another cable released by the whistle-blowing site suggests that China, Burma's most powerful ally, is growing impatient with the country's leaders.

Frankly, this is what happens when powerful nations have nuclear weapons and smaller ones want them too to defend themselves. And remember that U.s. is still the only nation on planet to ever have used nuclear weapons. Against civilians, no less.

Re:North Korea and Burma (0, Flamebait)

ObliviousMnd (960424) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627930)

And remember that U.s. is still the only nation on planet to ever have used nuclear weapons. Against civilians, no less.

yes, its sad. we are a bunch of dicks for doing that...

Re:North Korea and Burma (5, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628324)

Yes, it would have been much more humane to kill twice as many by invading, or the whole lot of them by blockade.

Re:North Korea and Burma (5, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628634)

Yes, it would have been much more humane to kill twice as many by invading, or the whole lot of them by blockade.

We would probably have killed far more than twice as many invading. We were, after all, expecting more US casualties from invading than we inflicted in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

And we'd already established that we could inflict ten casualties for every one we suffered - air supremacy and armour, that sort of thing, are serious force multipliers....

Re:North Korea and Burma (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38629094)

Hey now, that's not an easily compressible soundbite like "THE US IS THE ONLY ONE TO USE NUCLEAR WEAPONS"

Re:North Korea and Burma (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38630194)

We would probably have killed far more than twice as many invading. We were, after all, expecting more US casualties from invading than we inflicted in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

To put this in perspective, consider the Japanese casualties on Iwo Jima (i.e., "virtually all of them"). And that was just an island in the middle of the ocean, albeit a strategically-located one. If the Japanese thought that they were fighting hand-to-hand for their homeland, they would likely have shown the same sort of resistance there that they did on Iwo Jima, with the result being enormous Japanese casualties when they lost.

Re:North Korea and Burma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38630148)

Also, we warned them before Hiroshima, dropped a bomb and warned them again before Nagasaki. They chose not to surrender before each bombing. It's horrible that it had to happen, but it had to happen.

Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism? (2, Funny)

arcite (661011) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627952)

N. Korea and Burma are oppressive dictatorships. It is in no one's desire to let these countries have or retain nuclear weapons. The democracies of the world should do all they can (and thankfully they are) to disarm and dissuade these nations from their nuclear weapons. Thankfully, the US shows no intention of giving up this fight.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (5, Funny)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627980)

From what I've seen in history, only democracies nuke civilians.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628078)

If that's the case then democracies only nuke Japan, so they have nothing to worry about.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (0)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628082)

From what I've seen in history, only democracies nuke civilians.

And it's a good job they did too. For practically everyone including Japan.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (4, Insightful)

Jappus (1177563) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628208)

From what I've seen in history, only democracies nuke civilians.

And it's a good job they did too. For practically everyone including Japan.

Why? By that point, the war was pretty much over anyway. The only two at least semi-sensible arguments for using the nukes was: a) it'd likely make an invasion of Japan unnecessary and b) we have them, so we might as well just use them.

Given the fact that Germany had to be pretty much completely invaded before it surrendered is a sure sign that while a) actually worked, it would not have cost more than employing the nukes. Compared to the cost of getting to the point of invading the home-turf, the actual act of doing it is much less costly. And the USA were already ready to invade the home-turf of Japan at that point, so the down-payment was pretty much already done.
And if you look at the post-war recovery speed, both Japan and Germany did not differ much, so invading Japan would have worked just as well as nuking two cities full of civilians -- only that the former is somewhat less morally questionable, as it'd have mostly killed armed soldiers, instead of unarmed civilians and would've given the individual soldiers at least a chance to surrender.

So, given that fact a) is neither really pro-use nor fully contra-use, the most likely reason why they used the nukes was simply b). They had them, they wanted to test them for real, so they tested them for real. All in all, it just shows the banality of evil, and that a democracy is not immune against committing morally questionable or downright morally evil acts.

Oh, and using the argument "But it saved the lives of US-American soldiers" -- while certainly right -- is even worse, as it simply shows that your moral compass is blind in certain areas. It is basically trading the few or your own for the many of the others -- and good luck with morally justifying that without sounding just like those who you set out to defeat.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (4, Insightful)

indeterminator (1829904) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628284)

Adding to parent, they could probably have made their point by nuking much less densely inhabited areas. Instead they decided to go for maximum civilian casualties.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (4, Informative)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628824)

Leaflets were dropped for 2 days before the bombings by the CIA warning citizens that the cities were going to be destroyed, and many of them got out of town.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 2 years ago | (#38630000)

Leaflets were dropped for 2 days before the bombings by the CIA warning citizens that the cities were going to be destroyed, and many of them got out of town.

The US also dropped leaflets advising the Japanese to surrender because resistence was futile.

If you are stupid enough to believe enemy propaganda in whatever form, you are pretty stupid. The leaflets could just as likely be a ruse.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628998)

I shared this point of view once... that the nukes were acts of state sponsored terrorism. I sought out quite a bit of info on the topics... I think most "woah" was a History channel special and an article about Operation Downfall (Not the Wikipedia one). But anything I has out would probably be included in this wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debate_over_the_atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki
I am convinced that due to the world's need for a Japanese surrender (War can only end when one side is defeated or surrenders), the pride of the Japanese emperor, had the bombs not been dropped, the Japanese "civilian" deaths would have been greater in the months that followed, and the military deaths at least 3x higher on both sides. That, with conventional war. But maybe that's just propaganda.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38629186)

Hiroshima was chosen due to the large scale of arms establishments they had during WW2.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38630176)

Adding to that: The US, at the time, didn't know IF Japan would surrender if they chose to drop the bombs. Japan was in a state of Total War, high on honor and all that. They could just as well have decided to die by the sword. Imagine then what would have happened next, if the "drop-the-bomb"-logic was sound, then the US would have had to nuke all of Japan because "well, then we wont waste lives on an invasion, lol"

And who did the invasion of Germany? (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628302)

Germany was only partially invaded by the western allies, the russians did the lion share including the brutal Berlin battle. Japan's final battle by comparison was relatively peaceful.

As for civilians being killed, were these the same civilians who congratulated their sons for the mass murder they committed? I note Japan has never made reparations for their many war crimes.

The world at the time was tired of war, invading all of Japan by the US alone would have created a terrible cost, not just in soldiers lost but in retaliation by US soldiers against Japanese civilians. Lots of german women were raped, not that anyone could give a shit about it but the Russian soldiers were hardly in the mood to restrain themselves after having fought through the evidence of german war crimes to be nice to those same germans.

What would US soldiers have felt about the japanese people if they had to fight through Japan with more and more evidence of Japanese war crimes to fuel the already bitter hatred of the Japanese?

I also find it highly likely that you are willing to sacrifice soldiers without actually ever having served. An armchar moralist. Gosh, we need more of them. Easy bet you think Iraq was about oil while topping up your SUV.

Re:And who did the invasion of Germany? (4, Informative)

dokc (1562391) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628382)

Germany was only partially invaded by the western allies, the russians did the lion share including the brutal Berlin battle. Japan's final battle by comparison was relatively peaceful.

Tell that to Russians who fought in Manchuria Soviet invasion of Manchuria [wikipedia.org]

Re:And who did the invasion of Germany? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628940)

The Soviets declared war against Japan ONLY after the US bombed Hiroshima

Re:And who did the invasion of Germany? (5, Interesting)

denzacar (181829) | more than 2 years ago | (#38629022)

I note Japan has never made reparations for their many war crimes. ...
What would US soldiers have felt about the japanese people if they had to fight through Japan with more and more evidence of Japanese war crimes to fuel the already bitter hatred of the Japanese?

One - Japan got a free ride from the USA in exchange for the data it gathered from their inhumane experiments. [wikipedia.org]
Two - They DID make reparations for many war crimes. [wikipedia.org]
Three - US soldiers would not feel a damn thing (other than the already present racism against the Japs [sfsu.edu] which was rather prevalent back then) - as Japan was not Nazi Germany.
Their concentration camps (as in places where war crimes was a part of daily routine) were mostly offshore in places like Korea, China and Philippines [mansell.com] - you know... places where they were actually doing the fighting, capturing and executing of soldiers and civilians, pillaging and other activities that make war so much fun apparently.
Their camps in Japan were mostly of the interment kind. [comcast.net]
No gas chambers or furnaces. Or even that much civilian prisoners.

As for German women being raped...
That was NOT due to Russians fighting through "the evidence of german war crimes".
Russians even did their share of mass executions. Just ask Poles. [wikipedia.org]

Russian soldiers were let loose in Germany because of the 26,600,000 Soviets lost in the WWII. [wikipedia.org]
About 8.6 million of them soldiers.

It was not some temporary loss of moral compass due to seeing incredible injustice and evil. It was a calculated revenge of a victor.

"What would US soldiers have felt about the japanese people if they had to fight through Japan with more and more evidence of Japanese war crimes to fuel the already bitter hatred of the Japanese?"

You mean the way they systematically raped and killed German civilians after having to fight through half of Europe, littered with evidence of German war crimes?
Oh no... wait... I meant the way they systematically distributed aid to German civilians. [wikipedia.org]
Slip of tongue there.

Re:And who did the invasion of Germany? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38629528)

No gas chambers or furnaces. Or even that much civilian prisoners.

My best friend is Filipino, and his grandmother mother managed to survive the war (the rest of her family did not). There there were no "civilian prisoners" because the Japanese of the time viewed most foreigners as sub-human, and so had as little remorse for killing the locals as they would a stray dog.

Just because the Japanese were not as systematic as the Nazis in WW2 does not mean they were any less brutal or evil.

Re:And who did the invasion of Germany? (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 2 years ago | (#38629976)

There there were no "civilian prisoners" because the Japanese of the time viewed most foreigners as sub-human, and so had as little remorse for killing the locals as they would a stray dog.

Just because the Japanese were not as systematic as the Nazis in WW2 does not mean they were any less brutal or evil.

Please reread the entire paragraph and the parents paragraph it is addressing.

I do not question or deny that Japanese have committed war crimes during WWII.
I am just saying that there were not that many signs of those crimes INSIDE JAPAN, as they were mostly committed outside of Japanese borders, in other countries.
Sure, Japanese soldiers did commit war crimes. [wikipedia.org]

But they did not exterminate 10-11 million "lesser humans" inside their own (at the time) borders.
They did not build hundreds of concentration and extermination camps so close to home.
They did their killing OUTSIDE OF JAPAN.

As such, there were no concentration camps or gas chambers or cremation furnaces or mass graves for US marines to keep tripping over on Japanese soil - had they invaded Japan.
No "evidence of Japanese war crimes to fuel the already bitter hatred of the Japanese" - to quote the parent.

Re:And who did the invasion of Germany? (2)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 2 years ago | (#38630174)

I also find it highly likely that you are willing to sacrifice soldiers without actually ever having served. An armchar moralist. Gosh, we need more of them.

Not sure about the GP, but I did serve and I am against armed conflict except in self defense. In fact part of the reason I left was because my number was coming up to go to Iraq and I felt it was immoral since it was not self defense. Not only that, Bush refused to be honest about his reasons and kept feeding blatant lies and excuses to the U.S. public. I was not about to die for some rich man's petty conflict.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (2)

JohnnyComeLately (725958) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628342)

I think any Russian General older than 60 would disagree that invading Germany was easy and low cost, compared to a nuke. Seeing as we had to completely strip a bomber to it's bare minimum, and fly it off a deck not meant for that platform, I would challenge the premise, "We were ready to invade." We would have had no air superiority, against a Kamikze ready force, which had to go huge distances via boat to arrive. This is just begging to things to go wrong.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628632)

Or we could have stopped Alcoa from selling the aluminum to Mitsubishi that they made into Zeroes that they crashed through the decks of our planes.

Or we could have stopped Prescott bush from knowingly funneling millions to Hitler's S.S. One of his contemporaries was arrested for selling a great deal of fuel to the Nazis too, can't find his name right now though, sadly. But only AFTER he sold them the fuel, so that the Nazis would be able to continue to fight and so that we could seize the proceeds.

The simple truth is that we helped fuel that war intentionally for our economic goals.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (4, Insightful)

JohnnyComeLately (725958) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628994)

Yes and no. We were deeply into isolationism and trying desperately to ignore Germany. If you read "Beast in the Garden" you'll see our only interest was for them to pay back reparations. When our ambassador tried raising the flag on Hitler's "Final Solution," most thought the stories were made up, the Jews probably created the situation, etc. We "apologized" for any stories neg about Germany and then again, tried to get reassurances we'd get paid back.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (4, Informative)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628374)

Given the fact that Germany had to be pretty much completely invaded before it surrendered is a sure sign that while a) actually worked, it would not have cost more than employing the nukes.

Germans are not Japanese. Germans were willing to surrender (to Brits or Americans, at least). Japanese were not. When the US invaded Okinawa, even civilians made pointless attacks against US troops, while many committed suicide. Now adjust for the fact that Okinawa isn't considered a proper part of Japan, and is very small and you'll have some idea what would have happened on the mainland.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (1)

In hydraulis (1318473) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628436)

The only two at least semi-sensible arguments for using the nukes was: a) it'd likely make an invasion of Japan unnecessary and b) we have them, so we might as well just use them.

c) "Hoi! Comrade Josef! Look what we've got!"

All three of the above arguments are correct.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628522)

How about "it saved the lives of millions of Japanese"?

Could the US have just contained Japan until it collapsed? Sure. It wouldn't even have taken all that long, really. Things were pretty grim in Japan in August 1945 - lots of homelessness, and significant problems with production. They were short on every kind of raw material, and the food distribution system was in such dire straits that many factories couldn't operate because their workers had to choose between coming to work or obtaining food. (You don't usually think of "do work" and "obtain necessities of life" as mutually exclusive things, after all - but the official ration was down to starvation level, and so people did what they could to obtain more... which moved more food out of the official distribution system and into the black market, which made it worse for everyone else, which meant even more people had to spend their days getting food instead of working...)

The transportation network was in ruins. The harbors were mined, the transports were being torpedoed one after the other, the rail bridges were bombed, the ferries were wrecked.

On top of that, the winter of '45/'46 was one of the worst on record for Japan. Even with food aid from occupying US forces, hundreds of thousands of Japanese starved to death. That's with us providing bread instead of bombs...

The bombs killed something like 110,000 people, and that's regrettable. But pretending that Japan would have surrendered in August '45 without the nukes is foolish, and every month the war dragged on, the death toll for the Japanese civilian population continued to rise. Things had degenerated to the point where even if the US had literally quit and gone home - just said "forget it, we're declaring peace and not attacking any more" - more Japanese civilians would have died in the next year than died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

That's not even considering the nightmare scenario, where central governance in Tokyo collapsed and Japan's forces overseas could not be brought to surrender. Little Japanese garrisons on a hundred small islands in the Pacific, in the jungles of Southeast Asia, and along the front in China... many of which would require sharp fighting to dig out. Or you could just try to starve them out, of course, but if you take that view of it, you might as well hang up your humanitarian hat...

It's true that nobody in the US high command was thinking of how many Japanese lives the bomb would -save-.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (2)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38629756)

Could the US have just contained Japan until it collapsed?

Seeing what happened to North Korea under near identical circumstances, I'd say "no". The US might be able to contain Japan indefinitely, assuming the USSR didn't ruthlessly exploit the situation, but they couldn't insure the collapse of Japan.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (5, Informative)

hackertourist (2202674) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628692)

And the USA were already ready to invade the home-turf of Japan at that point, so the down-payment was pretty much already done.

Uh, no. There are two big differences. One is getting the troops to the Japanese homeland. The invasion of Germany was possible because of D-day. That was a pretty costly maneuver (in manpower lost and equipment), even though it was only a short hop across the Channel. Invading Japan would have meant massive amphibious landings supported not from the US homeland, but from small island bases.

Couple that with the Japanese willingness to fight to the last man, and the invasion would have been a bloodbath. So yes, a) was a valid reason.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38629100)

It is simple. It was revenge. If you talk to any American that lived through the war, ask them about the mood of the nation the day after Pearl Harbor. No one was worrying a whole lot about the poor civilians and their human rights. America were hell bent on outright genocide with a smile against Japan as a matter of public policy, and overwhelming majority of Americans supported it along with most countries that were victims of Japan (ask the Chinese how they felt about, or the Koreans, or the British). The only thing that saved the rest of the civilian population of Japan was a) we had no more nukes b) they surrendered.

Had the U.S. invaded, we would have bombed every single concentration of humans and structures likely for months (we were already doing it) with conventional munitions before landing troops, and completely isolated Japan from any resources military or civilian. There likely would not be a Japan as we know it today. The actual landing of troops would have been more of a mop up job, than there was any significant target left to seize.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 2 years ago | (#38630200)

Given the fact that Germany had to be pretty much completely invaded before it surrendered is a sure sign that while a) actually worked, it would not have cost more than employing the nukes.

I guess you missed the part where 80% of the war against Germany was borne by the Russians.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (1, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628276)

Apparently not for those on the receiving end. All the kittens, puppies and babies guilty of war crimes. All life has value, those that ignore this devalue their own life to less than nothing.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (3, Interesting)

satuon (1822492) | more than 2 years ago | (#38629110)

And it's a good job they did too. For practically everyone including Japan.

You are more right than you think.

Many people don't know that the Soviets had just declared war on Japan, and, after defeating the Kwantung army, had occupied nearly all territories held by Japan on the continent. After that they were planning to invade the Home Islands. Had the nuclear bombs not persuaded Japan to surrender at that moment, they might have been occupied by the Soviet Union. That would have had serious implications not just during the war, but after, because we would have likely had the People's Republic of Japan. What standard of living would its citizens have had?

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628086)

I suppose you think it would have been better for the Japanese people if they had been conventionally invaded. Would you please quote estimated local losses if that situation had occurred, then please quote total human loss that occurred due to being bombed with nuclear weapons including a 100 year fatality estimate from radiation secondary effects. Which one is higher?

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (5, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628136)

Could you please compare the bombing of Hiroshima with something more "acceptable", such as the repeated firebombings of Dresden? In your comparison, please include comparisons of number of lives lost, percentages of military to civilian deaths, personal property losses, infrastructure losses, and the military value of all those losses.

Perhaps, if you have enough background, you could compare the overall losses to both German and Japan during and immediately after World War 2.

And, if you're up to the task, maybe you could explain why the US military still has a surplus of Purple Heart medals, to the tune of a quarter million of them.

Nuclear weapons are terrible, I'll grant that. But, so is a 500 pound incindiary bomb landing in your living room. To the dead people, there is no difference.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628618)

Nuclear weapons are terrible, I'll grant that. But, so is a 500 pound incindiary bomb landing in your living room. To the dead people, there is no difference.

There's a big difference to the dying. All things considered, it's less horrible to bleed out in a couple hours than to die of radiation poisoning over a couple weeks.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38629588)

There's a big difference to the dying. All things considered, it's less horrible to bleed out in a couple hours than to die of radiation poisoning over a couple weeks.

How about dying over a couple of weeks to an otherwise treatable infection? How about dying over a couple of years to hunger? The pro-nuke side has plenty of room for escalation here.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38629518)

Don't be daft, of course it's different. How many bombing runs does it take to kill an A-bomb's worth of people with chemical bombs?

Having to crawl up to your enemy and beat him to death with your own head is different to activating a guillotine remotely without ever seeing them.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (5, Insightful)

bug1 (96678) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628008)

"N. Korea and Burma are oppressive dictatorships. It is in no one's desire to let these countries have or retain nuclear weapons."

Indeed, its only oppressive democracies that should be allowed to have nuclear weapons.

A more important question is, should fair and relaxed dictatorships/democracies be allowed to have them ? Hmm, but i guess they wouldnt need them, because they dont go around trying to bully people all the time.

Perhaps having nuclear weapons is a sign that a country is oppressive ?

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628130)

I don't really want to troll or anything, but with the NDAA and SOPA, I worry that the USA is heading that way as well.

Live Free or Die (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628378)

As seen on the N.H. number plates.

What most Americans have to ask themselves is

"What is Freedom?"
"Is the current freedom I have worth dying for?"
"Does the Federal Gov actually undersdand the word Freedom?"

You could have said something very similar in 1770 or so.
"Does the Government of King George understand Freedom?"

Says it all really.

answers to your Elected Representatives.

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628138)

Since when is the US a democracy?

"Yes we can [change]"

Barack "Bush the 3rd" Obama

Re:Is your parting line supposed to be a critisism (2, Insightful)

wmac1 (2478314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628346)

Yes, and the US government has been very much better. The track record of at least 50 wars in less than half a century, Nuking civilian cities and killing or causing the death of millions in those wars is a very good record for your so called democracy.

If there is one country which should not have the right of having nukes, that's the US. The US has used it before.... will use it again ... possibly

Re:North Korea and Burma (1)

ddocjohn (1019028) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627968)

The fact that the US has used them likely factors into the reasons why none have been detonated since.

No one wants that on their hands, except maybe the clergy of a fascist theocracy, or a just plain dumb/insane dictator.

Re:North Korea and Burma (1)

Sollord (888521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628036)

So your saying Iran is the only real threat. For all of NK bluster they're a bargaining chip for china and they and china know it. NK might be insane but insane and stupid aren't the same. They know no one will ever invade them as long as I they never attack first they just need to make some noise every once in awhile. Iran is full of religious nut jobs who think strapping explosive to themselves is a way into heaven and 72 virgins via martyrdom. Iran offically might not use them doesn't mean one of the nutjobs won't

Re:North Korea and Burma (3, Interesting)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628204)

nut jobs who think strapping explosive to themselves is a way into heaven and 72 virgins via martyrdom

Usually the promise of the martyr's family's safety and prosperity, as being something tangible, is a much greater incentive than any hypothetical harem in the afterlife. And those 72 virgins are an urban legend that is used to make saboteurs into religious fanatics they aren't. Most of the bomb attacks are not even suicidal, but it sounds exciting and western "civilizations" are suckers for gore.

They usually *are* fanatics (1)

YA_Python_dev (885173) | more than 2 years ago | (#38629638)

And those 72 virgins are an urban legend

No they are not.

Even if they're not mentioned in the Qur'an, they're an integral part of the official Islam in many parts of the world. See the Surah Quran 55:72:

""" It was mentioned by Daraj Ibn Abi Hatim, that Abu al-Haytham 'Adullah Ibn Wahb narrated from Abu Sa'id al-Khudhri, who heard Muhammad saying, 'The smallest reward for the people of Heaven is an abode where there are eighty thousand servants and seventy-two houri, over which stands a dome decorated with pearls, aquamarine and ruby, as wide as the distance from al-Jabiyyah to San'a. """

See also: http://wikiislam.net/wiki/72_Virgins [wikiislam.net]

[...] used to make saboteurs into religious fanatics they aren't.

Look, I love being politically correct as much as most left-wing Europeans, but anyone who yells "Allahu Akbar" ("God is great") and then presses the button counts as a religious fanatic in my book.

Re:North Korea and Burma (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628062)

The US state department recognizes 195 nations. Most of those nations are small and very few are seeking nuclear weapons. Among those few that do you find tyrants and theocrats.

Whatever the US does that puts so much fear into these people that they build ghetto nukes, good job US.

Both sides did more horrible things than that (5, Interesting)

F69631 (2421974) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628124)

You often hear about the nuclear bombs and the horrors caused by those. It's a sexy story: A new weapon so powerful that nobody truly understood what it would do... A single massacre of civilians to end a war... It makes for great movies and great ethical arguments. Nothing like the cold and calculated cruelty, such as firebombing [wikipedia.org], that was utilized by both sides but perfected by allies when effectively destroying [alien8.de] European cities.

For those too lazy to go to Wikipedia, Firebombing is a nasty tactic: The first wave of bombers attacks infrastructure (roads, electricity, firefighters, roofs of buildings), the second one contains powerful incendiary bombs. The fires are difficult to put out (due to the first wave) but there is also an added benefit: The people who managed to get into shelters have pretty good chance of suffocating to death as the whole city block is in flames for hours. This was used over and over again against civilian targets.

Not that ordinary bombing wasn't bad enough: It's nothing like the romanticized idea of a couple of people in a small bunker in their backyard. I've visited the old bomb shelters of Berlin: There are airtight rooms that can't be opened from the inside (if they run out of air there, opening the door would just result in them consuming all the oxygen from the rest of the shelter, too. It's better to just open the door from the outside after the raid is over and see if the people are still alive or not). There were dozens of people tightly packed into relatively small space, being very still and hoping that the air would last. At the beginning of the wars, there were indicators to tell how much oxygen was left (three at different levels and they'd change color when the oxygen was out near the roof, near the center and near the floor) but those just caused panic and were removed soon. As the number of raids grew, it no longer made sense to leave the shelter for extended time periods. The managers removed doors from toilets because by removing all the privacy, they were able to somewhat lower the amount of suicides (Several each day) that people committed in the shelter. This was all caused by the good guys.

To point out something "nice" from the Axis portfolio... The siege of Leningrad: The only place and time (as far as I'm aware of) in the modern western world where cannibalism actually became a widespread problem among the civilian population of a major city.

So... yeah. Nuclear weapons were bad but I don't think they're nearly the worst things that happened in those wars. I wouldn't even list them in top 3 (though they would get into top 10). This is also why I always feel a small amount of outrage when Americans talk about how they're at war (or even two wars): USA pays some people to risk their life overseas, some of which then end up dying. That's an invasion or perhaps expensive armed conflict or something, but hardly equivalent to being in war.

Re:North Korea and Burma (2)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628150)

Myanmar has partially democratized since then, and is pursuing stronger relations with the United States.

Re:North Korea and Burma (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628396)

Myanmar has partially democratized since then, and is pursuing stronger relations with the United States.

Myanmar has made minor, if promising, moves in a democratic direction. "Partially democratized"? Not hardly.

Re:North Korea and Burma (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628366)

North Korea isn't powerful, it's on the cusp of failure.

Re:North Korea and Burma (2)

fred911 (83970) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628406)

And by using them the US saved hundreds of thousands of lives, world wide.

Re:North Korea and Burma (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628926)

Some 300 North Koreans were working at the site, the authors said, although the cable suggested this number was improbably high.

Slave labour is not very efficient :(
That place is one of several reminders that you don't have to go back half a century to find true evil.

US or Soviet tech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627910)

These NKorean nuclear facilities, are they constructed like the US facilities or the Soviet? The Soviets give the NKoreans help but it sounds dangerous for them not to use the US dome structure...

Negev Nuclear Research Center (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627966)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negev_Nuclear_Research_Center

This is in the hands of a Middle East nation which has attacked its neighbor countries several times:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab%E2%80%93Israeli_conflict#Notable_wars_and_violent_events

        Israeli War of Independence 1948-1949
        Retribution operations 1951-1955
        Suez War 1956
        Six-Day War 1967
        War of Attrition 1967-1970
        Yom Kippur War 1973
        1978 South Lebanon conflict 1978
        First Lebanon War 1982
        South Lebanon conflict 1982-2000
        First Intifada 1987-1993
        Second Intifada 2000-2004
        Second Lebanon War 2006
        Gaza War 2008-2009

Right now Israel is lobbying around the world to get support for attacking Iranian nuclear facilities. Idiots.

So, in comparison? Which is worst? Two theocratic societies on collision course? Or a fat brat with an agenda? Really, really hard to tell.

Re:Negev Nuclear Research Center (3, Insightful)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628156)

You call the 1973 war "Israel attacking its enemies?" Lay off the crazy juice.

Re:Negev Nuclear Research Center (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628264)

No, that was 1967

True (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628318)

That was a sloppy inclusion. Sorry.

Re:Negev Nuclear Research Center (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628698)

Quite right. That only makes it twelve times that Israel has attacked it's neighbours. That's much better!

Re:Negev Nuclear Research Center (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628832)

Which is worst? Two theocratic societies on collision course? Or a fat brat with an agenda?

For some reason this made me think of the 2012 US presidential election, mormons, evangelicals and Rush Limbaugh.

North Korea vs. Iran (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628018)

I read these news about North Korea and Iran and sometimes I interchange "North Korea" with "Iran" and realize how having nuclear weapons seems to make all the difference in the language used.

Re:North Korea vs. Iran (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628096)

I'm not sure which is more dangerous, an unpredictable young king of his country or a supposedly democratically elected president in command of a country with nuclear weapons.

I think we have to face the inevitable fact that someone is going to have an itchy trigger finger and deny that the long term consequences of nuclear bombs by going "Hey look Japan is doing okay now" Overlooking the fact that Chernobyl, and Fukushima have rendered miles of area uninhabitable from badly designed reactor failsafes.

The only result of using Nuclear weapons now in a first-strike scenario is M.A.D. Mutually assured destruction, or in other words he who launches one , will surely see their country burned to the ground to prevent any further launches, damned any other consequences. If NK or Iran launched a weapon first, the US would have to put an end to it quickly. I'm fairly certain that the US knows where all the launch sites are, everywhere.

And missile defence shield, won't work because that relies on the target being the US or Europe, it's no help to the Arabs or the Asians.

Re:North Korea vs. Iran (4, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628162)

Obviously, you don't understand Iranian politics. The president of Iran has a bit of power. A little bit, that is. Real power rests with the "Supreme Leader", Ayatollah Khomanie (spelling). The Ayatollah draws his power from his circle of Ayatollahs, who run the country behind the scenes. The president is little more than a figurehead. Our own president in the United States has much more real power than the president of Iran.

Re:North Korea vs. Iran (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628724)

Obviously, you don't understand american politics. The president of the USA has a little bit of power. Real power rests with the lobyists. These draw their power from those who fund them. All the big corporations who run the country behind the scenes. The president is little more than a figurehead. Our own... :P

Re:North Korea vs. Iran (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628958)

All the big corporations who run the country behind the scenes.

It's not even behind the scenes! You can see who's paying who, and you find out who wrote the legislation! The difference is that in our society, who's calling the shots is actually a matter of public record, and we still don't do anything about it.

Re:North Korea vs. Iran (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628970)

No, the above poster does understand. Iran is not a democracy. Their President probably has a lot less power than the Mayor of a city in the USA. They'll let him decide where to place roads etc but any major decision has to go to the Ayatollahs before it will happen.

Re:North Korea vs. Iran (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 2 years ago | (#38629498)

Well, I think parent thought about formal process. Formally Obama has more power. Formally Iran's president has very little power.

But you are close to truth about lobby (money) power in Western world - they are our informal power influentials.

In all countries there are people who are power junkies. They have their own ( a little religiously crazy ones, indeed). Our have been sane for most of 20th century, but now I'm not so sure anymore :(

Re:North Korea vs. Iran (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628782)

Obviously, you don't understand Iranian politics. The president of Iran has a bit of power. A little bit, that is. Real power rests with the "Supreme Leader", Ayatollah Khomanie (spelling). The Ayatollah draws his power from his circle of Ayatollahs, who run the country behind the scenes. The president is little more than a figurehead. Our own president in the United States has much more real power than the president of Iran.

Most countries' presidents are a figurehead, the real power lies in the prime minister. The only exception that I can think of is the US, and whoever it is who holds real power over the lawmaking houses is not specifically named. That is not to say that the position does not exist.

30.000 feet? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628066)

Sounds dangerous flying satellites at that altitude.

Re:30.000 feet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628410)

30 feet?! Dude, my house is that height!
Oh god, that sneaky, lying seller. He told me planes wouldn't be an issue!

Re:30.000 feet? (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628788)

Sounds dangerous flying satellites at that altitude.

South Korea still flies the U2.

Re:30.000 feet? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628972)

South Korea still flies the U2.

Hell, we still fly the U2. They fly them out of Beale, for example, I used to watch 'em when I was going to Yuba College. Saw some pretty close because I had a class on Beale AFB, they held some computer classes on base so that airmen could take them and they padded them with civilians so that they'd have sufficient enrollment.

Reminds me of something... (1)

BananaBender (958326) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628116)

"I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure. " - a story right out of Hollywood :)

The biggest mistake. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628192)

Is making the error to think countries like NK and Iran will use nukes because dictators are irrational madmen. Sure, they're 'mad' enough but that doesn't make 'm irrational. Launching nukes would mean imminent self-destruction and is akin to walking up to a battalion of tank with a single round of .22.
The only motivation pursuing nukes is for gaining more means to play the political game. Dictators use ideology (ie. Stanilism, religion) to mobilize citizens to maintain or expand power and/or resources. The rest is a game.

If you are so naive to believe entire countries act as suicidal maniacs then you're being fooled by the same tools dictators use, only we call it 'peace', 'democracy' and 'stability'.

Cowboy diplomacy fails yet again (3, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628254)

See, the North Koreans DID disarm and were working with the US to develop nuclear power that was capable of producing power, but very hard to weaponize. But apparently doing so actually required thought and subtlety to international relations, something Republicans are apparently incapable of actually comprehending. Come in our cowboy man-child president who scrapped the whole deal, called North Korea "evil", and then was shocked when they re-started their weapons program. Same with Iran, and then he, and Obama for that matter, decided to go after the people who WERENT developing WMDs, letting all dictators round the world know that if they develop WMDs they are safe, if they don't, then they will get killed so the president can prove what a "man" he is. Bush was the biggest failure of a president in the post-civil war era, and Obama is only SLIGHTLY better.

Re:Cowboy diplomacy fails yet again (0, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628950)

Bush was the biggest failure of a president in the post-civil war era, and Obama is only SLIGHTLY better.

Bush is a failure as OUR president but he is not a failure as THE president. He accomplished his financial goals admirably, leading vast quantities of money to Halliburton, to his Oil-industry cronies, to the Military-Industrial Complex in general, and so on.

Obama is part of the same system, and as such, he is no better and no worse. He simply has a different part to play, and he is playing it by the script.

Re:Cowboy diplomacy fails yet again (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 2 years ago | (#38629062)

For crying out loud, would someone stop this Slashdot groupthinking?

Yes, there is blame to share with China, US or any other superpower for North Korea situation. However, in nutshell, most of it falls upon crazy leadership of NK. For normal country, amount of provocations from outside world to NK would be laughable. But these guys know that they are simply bad, and they will be towed away if any little chance is given away.

Was Bush warmongering when claiming North Korea, Iran and what else (I don't even don't remember anymore) "axis of evil"? True. Is there's something wrong with these "very upset" regimes who rules these countries? Of course there is. They are quite harsh rulers and if given any chance they will be removed. Do I want US to play world police? No. I would like to have general worldwide support for these regime's opposition. Problem is, that there are huge group of apologists who don't wanna shake the boat for lot of reasons (and most of them never get mentioned).

Do you really believe that North Korea would be really abandoned their nukes program if US would be more "polite"? I have hard time to believe that knowing history of South and North Korea relations for last four years. There's two possibilities for such regimes like this - they really have intention to change their attitude, or they just playing hide and seek and manipulate us. Unfortunately, with all information (independent, both sides given) available, I'm more inclined to claim second version as a winner. That's why I support cautious and skeptical attitude against anything they do.

And one more thing - you can't push away conflict if it's coming with thoughts and well wishes. Because root of the issue is much deeper than that. And no, your's enemy's enemy is not your friend.

Google sketchup (1)

Bazman (4849) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628258)

Anyone want to tell those guys that SketchUp isn't open source? This is slashdot after all, and we care about these things don't we?

Re:Google sketchup (0)

astropirate (1470387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628278)

So? 90% of the people on Slashdot are Apple fans(boys)... so obviously they don't have strong feelings in favor of opensource :S

Re:Google sketchup (1)

jon3k (691256) | more than 2 years ago | (#38630210)

I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed that. If you can't even get facts right regarding something that takes about 2 seconds to search for on google, it kind of calls into question their ability to analyze complex intelligence. For what it's worth, you can use the Feedback link to let them know.

verifiability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628298)

Where is the verifiability in this article? Or are we all basing our assumptions on one photograph (assuming it is a photograph) collected by one source, a pinky swear that it's from North Korea, and a crude guesstimate of what each building is based on the fact that the picture looks kinda nuclear-power-station-y?

Boring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628340)

Ubiquitous blue roofing, the usual waste pools, 3rd World construction at best, reactor failure within 20 years and finally an epic realization of the irrelevance of North Korea, do you see your neighbor to the south? That's what you could've been, instead you chose to be some poorly run dictatorship the likes of which should have been obsolete 50 years ago.

To put it in contemporary terms "FAIL"

Re:Boring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628390)

Agree on all accounts -- and after seeing Russia and China change model, it escapes me how NK can be so dumb as not to get on the capitalism train.

That said, SK has US bases while NK, not. Zing!

And when something does go wrong.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38629016)

I'm wondering what will happen when something DOES go wrong, and how NK will handle it.

I bet it will take them a while to ask for help, at the very least.

Re:And when something does go wrong.. (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38629416)

Don't wander that much. They'll send lots of contaminants down-river, and have lots of their peole die fixing the mess. They'll probably react faster than Japan and probably won't ask for help.

What I wonder is how long that reactor will last, if it is a real one, and what is down-river.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...