Originally Posted by Xracer
.....but had we used gas on Iwo, the camel's nose would've been under the tent.
Would we have then used it on Okinawa, which had a large civilian population? Granted, many Okinawan civilians committed suicide rather than face occupation by the "Brutal (they were told) Americans"......but most of them sought shelter in the jungle and in the many caves on the island. Poison gas would've caused horrific civilian casualties.
As usual, X, you make a very intelligent point and your metaphor is an apt one. Once the jennie was out of the bottle, it would have been very difficult--if not impossible--to get him back inside it again. The ramifications of that in later conflicts, like Korea, are definitely worth considering. I agree that, by and large, we did play by the so-called "rules of war" throughout the conflict (there were a few exceptions, as you well know), though I wonder, had the full extent of the atrocities committed by the Japanese against American POWs--and the Germans against the Jewish prisoners in the concentration camps--been known to the American public, if there would not have been an even greater outcry for revenge and retribution, and thus the use of whatever weapons we had to utterly destroy them to the last mother's son. In the long run though, such an action would likely have done us more harm than good. On Okinawa, it is true, the use of gas would have been at least as harmful to the innocent civilian population as to the Japanese military, yet, by the same token, the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by nuclear blast was as well.