I have begun to wonder just how we can end will the war in Afghanistan. In this endeavor we are haunted by
the old dictum from American Civil War General, U.S. Grant; "No terms except unconditional and immediate surrender." But the reality was that when Grant demanded those terms at Fort Donaldson in 1862, they immediately were rejected by the Confederate commander, General Buckner. And Grant immediately modified his offer. Despite this President Roosevelt issued the same demand in World War Two of Germany and Japan. And because Germany was crushed and occupied, the “Greatest Generation” and their children, still expects all American wars to end like World War Two in Europe did. But the truth is that even WWII did not end in "absolute and total victory". Let me try to show the reality of how we ended World War Two in the Pacific, the most heartless bloodbath America has ever been caught up in.
Logically, America and Japan's war in the Pacific should have ended on Sunday, July 9th, 1944. On that day, at 16:15 hours (4:15pm local time), the American commander Admiral Richmond J. Turner declared the island of Saipan secured. The everyone agreed at the time the victory had been decisive. In the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot, three Japanese aircraft carriers were sunk and 600 aircraft and pilots were destroyed. The United States lost just 123 planes, and 80 of those experienced air crews were rescued. On the ground, on Saipan 30,000 Japanese soldiers and 22,000 civilians had died for the emperor. The United States lost about 2,949 dead, and 10,364 wounded. That ratio of 10 Japanese dead for every one American dead, had been fairly constant through the war in the Pacific. And even before Admiral Turner’s pronouncement, U.S. Navy Construction Battalions (the amazing C.B.’s) had begun turning the island into the world’s largest airport, from which, eventually, 2,000 B-29’s heavy bombers would turn Japanese factories and cities into torches.
The Japanese recognized it. Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, the architect of the war with America, and his entire cabinet resigned, nine days after Admiral Turner's pronouncement. This was unambiguous proof that every Japanese senior commander knew that the Japan had lost the war. But Japanese leadership now held onto the dream that if they could bleed America enough, if the Japanese could kill enough Americans in just one more big battle, they would win a more favorable peace from the Americans. In conquering Iwo Jima the United States suffered 8,621 dead and 19,189 wounded, and at Okinawa, on the threshold of Japan itself, America suffered 12,513 dead and 38,513 wounded But in those two invasions, Japan would lose 21,000 dead and 130,000 dead. The Americans still gave no hint of bending on terms. The Japanese strategy was not working..
But even after those bloodbaths, no Japanese leader even hinted in public that they might be willing to negotiate a peace with the Americans. In part this was because the Japanese saw no evidence that America was having any second thoughts about "Unconditional Surrender", and in part because the Japanese military was driven by its most radical leadership. Japan's public silence on the issue of a negotiations, amounted to the mass murder of their own citizens and soldiers, of the U.S. forces closing in on them, and the hundreds of thousands of civilians from occupied nations (mostly China) caught between the avenging Americans and the silent fatalistic fanatics of Japan.
It takes only one nation to start a war, but it takes two nations to make was peace. And there were a few, mostly in Washington, D.C. and at Pearl Harbor, who realized it was no longer in either America or Japan's best interests, to continue this slaughter. How could these few find a way to convince the majority on both sides to stop the killing?.