HomeOpinionNetflix's Turning Point | Anti-American Trash

Netflix’s Turning Point | Anti-American Trash

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I watched Episode 1 of Turning Point on Netflix, a series about the Cold War. Being both a Poly Sci and History major and later getting my Masters in International Relations, the focus of my undergraduate degree was the Cold War and Communism. My Masters degree and thesis work was all on the elements policy makers use when coming to a international decision, both politically and militarily. This first episode was 99% used to bash the American decision to use the atomic bombs on Japan. They spend the last half of the episode only talking about the human toll of the decision on the Japanese and never, not once, talk about the other half of the story.

1. After the battles of Okinawa and Iwo Jima, the first steps take to invade the Japanese homeland, and some of the first battle on Japanese soil, the US military looked at cost of those fights. Okinawa cost 12,000 American lives and up to 200,000 Japanese lives. Iwo Jima costs 6,800 American lives and at 21,000 Japanese lives defending the Island. These are tiny islands, smaller than Maui. Extrapolate that if we invaded mainland Japan with 73 million inhabitants during WWII. Roughly 250,000 people died on Japan from the two bombs. Yes, dropping them and forcing the Japanese hands absolutely saved lives, both US and Japanese.

2. The US could have blockaded the Island. This would have cut fuel and food from the island. The Japanese military would have monopolized the food, causing starvation and death in the civilian population first. This was expected to cause millions of civilian deaths.

3. After the war in Europe ended, information about the Russian Military’s staggering campaign of death across Nazi occupied part of Europe and Russia’s own history of killing millions of their own people in the 1920s and 1930s, the US military feared that if Russian invaded Northern Japan and annexed it, like they were doing in Eastern Europe, the death toll to the Japanese population would pale in comparison. Therefore, forcing the Japanese to surrender prior to the Russian invasion would actually saved lives.

The episode has many first-hand accounts from Japanese civilians living in the two cities that were bombed, talking about the death and human suffering. If they wanted to be fair, they would have interviewed some of the GI’s like my grandfather, who fought on both Okinawa and Iwo Jima with the 5th Marine Division, 27th Marine Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Fox Company, on what they experienced during those battles and what military commanders were telling them to expect during an invasion of the Japanese homeland. I was lucky enough to hear some of it first-hand, from my grandfather, before his death.

But, none of these aspects of the decision-making process by the US were discussed in the episode. If you are young, not having this educational basis, you would just watch this episode thinking the US military and President wanted revenge and to kill as many Japanese as they could. This could not have been farther from the truth and was very much the opposite.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Ummmmm……..there are 9 episodes to the whole series. you make it seem like Netflix completely ignored the issues you talked about by calling it “anti-American” yet your judgment is based on the context from viewing just ONE EPISODE. Making a sweeping judgment about something based on such minimal/incomplete knowledge is “on brand” for anyone who uses the label “Anit-american” wayyyy too fast. lol. nice try, ace.

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