Was Pearl Harbor or 9/11 attacks worse?

Discussion in 'The Study' started by Chrisinmd, Dec 1, 2019 at 12:17 AM.

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  1. Chrisinmd

    Chrisinmd Orange Belt

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    My initial thought is the attack on Pearl Harbor started the most costly and extensive war in the history of the entire world. Pearl Harbor was an attack on a military installation so it hurt the USA far more militarily, while 9/11 was directed towards civilian targets (except the Pentagon).

    As horrible as the effects were, Pearl harbour was a legitimate military target in wartime.
    The twin towers in peacetime were far less of a legitimate target to be attacked. They were innocent civilians and were not a legitimate military target as a military installation would have been.

    Being attacked goes with the territory if you are in the military and at least you have a chance in theory to defend yourself and your comrads but attacking innocent civilians can never be acceptable.
     
  2. Gweilo

    Gweilo Black Belt

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    Whilst I agree with you entirely, we still do not know if legitimate target is the correct terminology, we will never know the truth about the sequence of events that took place on the run up to PH, was it a pre-emptive strike by the Japanese, did Churchill have intelligence about the strike, and not pass the information on to Roosevelt to bring the Americans into WW2, or as some conspiracy theorists claim false intelligence was given to the Japanese, by the British, about the US joining the war, and was amassing their forces at PH, in order to attack the Japanese forces, a stratergy claimed (by the conspiracists) successfully used by the British in WW1 with the sinking of the Lusitannia.
    We will never know.
     
  3. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    I strongly feel you are on the wrong forum for this question.
     
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  4. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    It think both were equally bad. Sometimes it's not just the attack that you have to factor in, but what comes after. In terms of mental disruption 9-11 was bad. The fear of an invisible attacker. It's one thing to be attack from a country and something different to be attacked from within. But this isn't to say that Pearl Harbor wasn't bad. Pearl harbor was act that finally got the U.S. involved into the war that everyone else was fighting. D-day the atomic bomb, carpet bombing, lost of lives lost and we are still filling the effects of World War 2.

    9-11 began the war of misinformation and while misinformation isn't a physical attack, it can easily give birth to a physical attack. How bad is misinformation? When someone believes a lie about your country and uses that lie to justify flying planes into civilian buildings. When someone believes a lie about what type of weapons you have and storms into your country with the military. Now misinformation is at it's worst because people are now to lazy to seek the truth and believe whatever they read from internet or from hearsay. Media organizations no longer care about seeking the truth, they just want ad money.

    So back to your question. In terms of which one was worst. You would have to not only look at the attack, but also what harms came as a result of the attack. Did one act lead down a path where other harmful acts were created. I don't think we can measure events like as being "which was worst," by solely by counting the lives lost, or civilian vs military locations.
     
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  5. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    well the pearl harbour attack was in " peace time" it should be noted that during the war all sides were deliberately targeting civilians, that is they wernt collateral damage for a military objective but the prime target to spread fear and terror in the populatio which is why the death toll ran in to 10s of millions
     
  6. Rat

    Rat 2nd Black Belt

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    Militarily for WW2, pearl harbour. civilian wise, i think 9/11 trumps other terrorist attacks in the U.S. In terms of casulties


    Also what is the stance for non current politics but rather history politics? As the entire point of pearl harbour was to try and knock the U.S's pacific fleet out of the war. And that was after the Japanese tried peaceful negotiations to get the resources they needed. (well the entire war with the European powers was)

    Given if pearl harbour would have worked, the U.S would have lost its pacific possessions. and that may or may not have had a adverse effect on the war in China and the other European possessions in the region occupied by the Japanese and the commonwealth nations.

    But i would second any notion of not comparing a military target in wartime, with a more morale target without a official declaration. But its worth noting, plenty of groups cant engage in open warfare and need to use more irregular tactics to win their wars, and civilians generally die in any fighting. And thats just the reality to it.


    And none of that was meant to be political, at least modern politics. I kept the politics to why the japanese foguht in WW2, to the best of my knowledge on the subject.(which is history)
     
  7. Rat

    Rat 2nd Black Belt

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    The funny thing about that is, the declaration of war was meant to have been sent a hour or so before the attack, but the ambassador got delayed or something along those lines delayed the relaying of the message until after. But Pearl harbour was a pretty big strategic target as it did house the U.S's pacific fleet, which needed to be cripple for the Japanese to stand any chance of winning, and the only way to do that is with a decisive surprise attack.

    And i don't think they bombed any civilian targets intentionally in the attack.

    Also there were a few types of strategic bombing i think should be noted, and it was semi un intentional in some instances to kill civilians. There were morale bombings, yes. That was to target the civilian population to demoralize them for further war, with a 50/50 logic of with everyone killed thats one less person to aid the war effort. Then there were attacks on infrastructure to directly damage the war effort, which at night and at the altitudes bombers were forced to fly at, meant attacks on factories in the middle of towns would pretty much be attacks on the towns. and then some towns were of strategic importance and needed to be leveled etc. From a video i watched, im pretty sure the optics for the bombardiers could place bombs accurately on factories and infrastructure targets with minimal collateral damage, if the bomber wasn't opposed in doing it and had a clear un interrupted run and view on the target. But as i previously stated, they were forced to fly at night, had AAA firing at them and had enemy fighters looking for them.

    Its not pleasant, but WW2 was total war and that is the hallmark of total war. Its not called total war for nothing after all.



    And yes i do nerd over WW2 topics a lot. :p
     
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  8. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    Pearl Harbor was a Military target, 9/11 a terrorist act*
    Technically, both occured in peace time.

    I think 9/11 was worse.
    It caused people to abandon humane principles in the name of revenge.
    And everything that followed was revenge.
    Invading an uninvolved country, torture, and destabilization of a region (for which we will pay dearly, for many years to come)

    PearlHarbor only put the US officially in the war.
     
  9. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Friendly policy reminder:

    Politics is a bit of a touchy subject here. History and comparisons can be interesting to discuss, and as I type this, there's no obvious violation here. Keep things polite and respectful, avoid namecalling and insults, and keep to facts and all will be good.

    I am moving the thread to The Study; it's a better fit there.
     
  10. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Pearl Harbor did the same thing. This is what happened to Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor. Lots of humane principles gone here.


    This is how the U.S. justified it.


    People who know this history, lived through it, or know someone who lived through get really touchy about when people are put in "Camps" legal or not and rightly so. No matter what good intent one says to justify it, it never turns out good.

    China's version


    Everyone should be concern when the ideal of gathering people of a group into guarded facilities is pushed and justified as something reasonable.
     
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  11. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Civilian death back then was acceptable as so any bomb dropped from any country was done with the knowledge and understanding that civilians would be be killed. The rules of war and engagement were not the same as they are now during that time. A lot of the rules and laws that we have now were because of what happened in World War 2.

    There's not much guidance on these things. You just drop them out of a plane and hope it lands on its target. It was pretty bad. Morale bombings, infrastructure bombings, or whatever they wanted to refer to it. Civilian death was acceptable. Perfect example. No one drops an Atom bomb thinking that it's only going to wipe out infrastructure and military units. Back then bombing was done with a shot gun approach. Drop a bunch of bombs and close enough to the target and hopefully you'll hit it.







    Until recent times, the history of war was to "kill more of them, than they kill of you." That was the accepted reality. Ironically better weapons that can target your enemies military shows to be of more value than that ancient logic of the past. Destroy the military and your enemy will have nothing left to fight with is more of a modern reality and logic than it was back then.
     
  12. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Thanks
     
  13. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    9/11 was worse. What was worse was our response. It’s a good thing Mexico didn’t hijack those planes....Bush would have invaded Canada.
     
  14. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    I fully agree, but paint a picture and put yourself in charge. You are responsible for about 132 million people. An new enemy has just dealt your country a terrible blow and people with strong ties to your enemy live in your country. You know full well not all these people are aligned with your enemy but you do not know which ones these are. What do you do?
     
  15. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    that's not the history of war, the history of war was profesional armies fighting each other and whilst there have been a considerably number of atrocities with the rape and murder of civilians, that wasn't the point of the exercise.

    The british for instance in the napoleonic wars were putting to death their own soldiers who were murdering civilians

    Jump forward to the second world war and civilians as a specific target of war was morally acceptable, by their 10s of millions..

    you really have to go back to the crusades to find a similar level of barbarity
     
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  16. Rat

    Rat 2nd Black Belt

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    I don't think it was that acceptable, it was just a reality of warfare. If i recall, someone bombed a civilian target in the battle of Britain, so then the other side bombed a civilian target in return etc. The originally tried to keep it factories and the like. and then it just escalated into some morale bombings mixed with attacking infrastructure. So after that, it was deemed acceptable as someone started the chain of attacking targets and it was just rules out of the window after that happened. Like wise if someone used gas, the rules on it would have been tossed out the window or any gentleman's agreements you have. And a lot of the time, there wasn't random attacks done on civilian populations it was strategic towns attacked. Towns with factories in them, or were vital in a train/road system or telecommunications system. But you did get the right assessment of, given bombers were opposed, they couldn't accurately drop bombs, so a target in a city that could have been bombed with minimal collateral if unopposed and unobstructed, couldn't.


    Also the intent of the atomic bomb was to force japan out of the war without a invasion. and as it routinely quoted to me in a joking manner it wasn't the 2 they dropped that made them surrender it was the threat of more. (and also Manchuria being invaded by the Soviets and them loosing in Burma) As far as i know the intent of japan was going to be to level it systematically until either everyone was dead or they surrendered. And they ironically have themselves to blame for that, by showing they were going to fight to the last person over the home islands when they lost Iwo Jima and Okinawa.


    and did you know there was a gentlemans agreement to not bomb venice? actually i think it was its harbour. And if im right, no one did bomb it, but rather skillfully hit the ships and the like with very minimal to no damage to the port.
     
  17. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    But what did they think these people were going to do to assist the enemy ?
     
  18. Rat

    Rat 2nd Black Belt

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    Anything, as it became quickly racial. Plus they could have been infiltrators as well. some people arent citizens of the country they reside in and still hold loyalty to their home one. Or support it more than their current host one.


    One person can do quite a lot of damage, and can assist any infiltrators in setting up a cell, and once that happens its harder to deal with. and the damage output is much greater. Just look at what the SoE and OSS did. and what the partisans in occupied Europe did, both sides.
     
  19. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    what do you mean anything ? what exactly
     
  20. Rat

    Rat 2nd Black Belt

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    Literally anything, assassinations, sabotage, espionage. Helping official Japanese infiltrators establish themselves. releasing PoW's or aiding them, if they made it to the mainland. (not that would probably happen as they have no home to go back to) Raids on supply depot's and starting a underground army.
     
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