A Speculation on What If Japan Hadn't Been Nuked
On this 67th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, I've been considering that the Japanese were mobilizing school children and also considering the effects of fighting wars in the Middle East against an enemy determined to mobilize emotions. As a result, I can think of three nasty possible effects of using an invasion of Japan as an alternative to nukes:
- We might have had a Vietnam War Syndrome twenty years earlier. The returning veterans would have been greeted as “baby killers” (at least those who survived attacks by ten-year old kids with machine guns). We might have seen a general turn toward pacifism and distrust of the “establishment.” On the other hand, we might have seen a cold civil war between the generations. (By the way, I suspect we might see such a cold civil war in the generation after abortion becomes obsolete.)
- We might have had reinforced racism. The returning veterans would have been as influential as in our time-line but they would be used to the idea of shooting at people just because they were a different race. Civil rights or relaxed immigration laws might not have gotten off the ground. (There is little danger of that in the aftermath of the Current Unpleasantness. We're not fighting brown people over there; we're fighting white people with suntans.)
- Our troops might have been reluctant to shoot back and gotten bogged down. After a few years, the Russians would be ready to launch a successful brutal invasion of what would eventually become the Japanese SSR.