Pearl Harbor

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Pearl Harbor

Post by KristallNacht on Sun Jan 01, 2012 5:04 am

So this week I have to lead my platoon in a guided discussion about the Battle of Pearl Harbor, and I want to see what points you guys can bring to the table that I might not have otherwise prepared for.

So here's some starting questions:

Was the attack justified?
Was the attack honorable? (in a conventional sense of wartime honor)
Was the attack a wise choice on the side of the Japanese Empire?
What if the attack on Pearl Harbor hadn't happened?
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Re: Pearl Harbor

Post by laxspartan007 on Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:29 am

i belive it was honorable because they send a letter of war a couple days earlier saying they would attack but it didnt get to washington on time...
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Re: Pearl Harbor

Post by Lord Pheonix on Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:42 am

It was smart on their move as they knew it was a matter of time until the U.S was going to full on join the war (we were already supporting with supplies and other stuff to our allies and we were planning on joining soon).


Pear Harbor was our midway point to japan and Europe and without it the U.S would be severely limited in our capabilities to deploy rapidly to Asia.


If I was Japan looking to hit America i'd have done the same thing.




In the end it came to bite them in the ass though


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Re: Pearl Harbor

Post by Rotaretilbo on Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:56 am

KristallNacht wrote:Was the attack justified?

You'll need to be more specific. I'd argue that everything Japan stood for in WW2 was unjustified expansionism and elitism.

KristallNacht wrote:Was the attack honorable? (in a conventional sense of wartime honor)

The idea of a preemptive strike to cripple a likely enemy's navy is honorable-ish. However, strafing unarmed sailors in the water swimming from the wrecks of ships was a significant breach of the Geneva Convention, and was just one of many such distasteful examples of Japanese "honor".

KristallNacht wrote:Was the attack a wise choice on the side of the Japanese Empire?

Not at that stage, no. The US was supporting the war effort in Europe and Asia, but the Allies were losing badly on both fronts anyway. The longer the US waited to enter the war, the worse a position they would be in. Forcing their hand early only forced them to take advantage of a better opportunity. Worse yet, they focused down all of the outdated battleships, but their intelligence was shit and the carriers were away, which forced the US to adopt a new strategy of proxy naval air battles that allowed itself to compete with Japan and eventually lose.

KristallNacht wrote:What if the attack on Pearl Harbor hadn't happened?

We may well have lost the war. We barely won Europe. Any one of a dozen mistakes undone and Germany would have won that front. Waiting longer to join only worsened our position in the war.

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Re: Pearl Harbor

Post by Vtrooper on Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:19 pm

well, everyone said the important stuff already NT.

i will say that Japan's reasoning was to cripple the American Pacific Fleet to:

1. Take Dutch Territory in the South Pacific.

2. Take British Territory in the South Pacific.

3. Take the Philippine Islands to secure trade roots (but we were able to do effect this anyway because our Submarine force took no damage during the attack)

also, if Chuichi Nagumo launched a third strike, even without or Carriers in port, he could of set the Pacific Fleet back by a year and forced the fleet back to San Francisco if they hit Fuel Reserves and Dry Docks.
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Re: Pearl Harbor

Post by Angatar on Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:10 pm

If the carriers were in Pearl Harbor, and they sunk them, it would have worked well for Japan but all they did was set the US back a few months and bring them into the war.

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Re: Pearl Harbor

Post by Lord Pheonix on Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:21 pm


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Re: Pearl Harbor

Post by Ruski on Sun Jan 01, 2012 5:32 pm

KristallNacht wrote:Was the attack justified?

Was the attack justified? I would say no. Lets look at what were fundamental reasons Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in the first place:

1) The attack was to prevent the United States from being able to properly stop Japanese expansion into Malaya and Dutch East Indies.

2) The discontinuation of the trade of Oil and other valuables from the United States to the Empire of Japan.

3) Expectation of war occurring soon between the United States and Japan was very high, and many suspected it to be imminent

4) American military build up in the Philippines and the United States Pacific Fleet being moved from San Diego to Hawaii

5) The United States was actively aiding Japanese enemies

But let's look at this from a different view. Japan had invaded China in 1931, and the war truly escalated in 1937. Japanese plans were to isolate China and cease its resources. Japan also committed horrible atrocities in China, such as the Nanking Massacre, and attacked the USS Panay in which 3 American were killed, 45 wounded, and the boat was lost. They also fired on the British HMS Ladybird. These occurred in 1937. These prompted the United Kingdom and the United States to then provide aid to China.

France surrendered in 1940, and with it its territorial claims in the Pacific were seized by Japan. The United States did not like this, building off of seeing growing Japanese expansion into China and now further towards Allied lands and territories. The United States stopped trading gasoline, tools, and aviation parts sometime after as a result.

The United States built up forces in the Philippines, Wake Island, Midway, and Hawaii to prepare for what appeared to be inevitable war with Japan as they continued to expand nearer to American held areas. In 1941, Japan and the United States were in the midst of peace talks when the attack on Pearl Harbor commenced. The US did not receive a declaration of war because Japan engaged in intentionally deceptive diplomacy with the United States so that a surprise attack could be achieved.

In conclusion, based on this, I do not believe it was justifiable for Japan to attack. The United States was simply reacting to the fast and violent expansion of Japan. Japanese atrocities also make the point to justify attack fall. And finally, the intentional misleading diplomacy Japan did with the United States in order to engage in a war, no matter how inevitable it seemed, makes it hard for Japan to justify an attack.

KristallNacht wrote:Was the attack honorable? (in a conventional sense of wartime honor)

In my honest opinion? No. To engage an enemy in surprise is one thing, but to attack before war is declared is another. Then there is the whole point about deceptive diplomacy. I sure as hell would not call the Empire of Japan honorable, especially with the atrocities and brutality they treated others.

KristallNacht wrote:Was the attack a wise choice on the side of the Japanese Empire?

Yes in theory, and no in reality. It was good in theory because then the Japanese would not have a big contender to deal with in the Pacific while it expanded and acquired resources. The Japanese could then dominate and force things onto the United States a lot easier. But we, of course, why it was not wise in reality.

KristallNacht wrote:What if the attack on Pearl Harbor hadn't happened?

Well, by 1941, just about half of Americans believed the US would be fighting Japan soon. If Japan had not attacked Pearl Harbor, it is easily predictable they would have attacked the Philippines eventually since US bases there could harm Japanese shipping lanes and military traffic.

And I would personally argue that if Japan would not have brought the US into war soon, then growing German power and reign in Europe would have eventually
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Re: Pearl Harbor

Post by KristallNacht on Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:33 pm

Lord Pheonix wrote:It was smart on their move as they knew it was a matter of time until the U.S was going to full on join the war (we were already supporting with supplies and other stuff to our allies and we were planning on joining soon).

Actually, unbeknownst to Japan (for obvious reasons) the upper levels of our government had already decided that a two front war would be too difficult, and if we entered the war we were going to focus on Europe almost entirely, as long as Japan didn't mess with our shipping lanes to Australia. Then after V-E we would have attempted to fight japan.

Rotaretilbo wrote:
You'll need to be more specific. I'd argue that everything Japan stood for in WW2 was unjustified expansionism and elitism.
It was meant to be unspecific, for the purposes on discussion.

Rotaretilbo wrote:
The idea of a preemptive strike to cripple a likely enemy's navy is honorable-ish. However, strafing unarmed sailors in the water swimming from the wrecks of ships was a significant breach of the Geneva Convention, and was just one of many such distasteful examples of Japanese "honor".
But what about the fact only 56 of the 2,500 dead were civilians?

Rotaretilbo wrote:
Not at that stage, no. The US was supporting the war effort in Europe and Asia, but the Allies were losing badly on both fronts anyway. The longer the US waited to enter the war, the worse a position they would be in. Forcing their hand early only forced them to take advantage of a better opportunity. Worse yet, they focused down all of the outdated battleships, but their intelligence was shit and the carriers were away, which forced the US to adopt a new strategy of proxy naval air battles that allowed itself to compete with Japan and eventually lose.
Actually, the Empire of Japan knew the carriers were out, but they have spent so much time planning and getting ready that they pushed on, as a major objective of the destruction of morale, and at the time, the battleships were the pride of the Navy.
Ruski wrote:
But let's look at this from a different view. Japan had invaded China in 1931, and the war truly escalated in 1937. Japanese plans were to isolate China and cease its resources. Japan also committed horrible atrocities in China, such as the Nanking Massacre
The entire purpose of Japanese expansion was resources. How would it have benefited Japan to leave the existing Chinese in the claimed lands alive? Then the chances of later civil unrest become major issues, issues which the Empire of Japan didn't care to have on its plate.
Ruski wrote:
The US did not receive a declaration of war because Japan engaged in intentionally deceptive diplomacy with the United States so that a surprise attack could be achieved.
As far as I can find about that, Japan was not particularly deceptive in its declaration of war. The Admiral in charge of the attack set it up so that the message containing the declaration of war would arrive at a predesignated time and 30 minutes later Pearl Harbor would be attacked. But translation caused the message to be late.
Ruski wrote:
Well, by 1941, just about half of Americans believed the US would be fighting Japan soon. If Japan had not attacked Pearl Harbor, it is easily predictable they would have attacked the Philippines eventually since US bases there could harm Japanese shipping lanes and military traffic.

And I would personally argue that if Japan would not have brought the US into war soon, then growing German power and reign in Europe would have eventually

Except the strategic connection between Japan and Germany was minimal, and America didn't want to fight a two-front war as the logistics would be very difficult to manage. America may have never been able to make a proper push back against Japan by the time we defeated Germany.
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Re: Pearl Harbor

Post by Ruski on Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:14 am

Ruski wrote:
But let's look at this from a different view. Japan had invaded China in 1931, and the war truly escalated in 1937. Japanese plans were to isolate China and cease its resources. Japan also committed horrible atrocities in China, such as the Nanking Massacre
KristallNacht wrote:The entire purpose of Japanese expansion was resources. How would it have benefited Japan to leave the existing Chinese in the claimed lands alive? Then the chances of later civil unrest become major issues, issues which the Empire of Japan didn't care to have on its plate.

I found a typo here. I meant seize, not cease. The very fact they killed those people is a reason I said they weren't justified in their attack. I'm not arguing with you here. I believe you just read wrong due to my typo.

Ruski wrote:
The US did not receive a declaration of war because Japan engaged in intentionally deceptive diplomacy with the United States so that a surprise attack could be achieved.
KristallNacht wrote:As far as I can find about that, Japan was not particularly deceptive in its declaration of war. The Admiral in charge of the attack set it up so that the message containing the declaration of war would arrive at a predesignated time and 30 minutes later Pearl Harbor would be attacked. But translation caused the message to be late.

There was a finding by a law professor, Takeo Iguchi, in 1999 that pointed to intentional misleading on the part of Japan. Here's the article.

Ruski wrote:
Well, by 1941, just about half of Americans believed the US would be fighting Japan soon. If Japan had not attacked Pearl Harbor, it is easily predictable they would have attacked the Philippines eventually since US bases there could harm Japanese shipping lanes and military traffic.

And I would personally argue that if Japan would not have brought the US into war soon, then growing German power and reign in Europe would have eventually

KristallNacht wrote:Except the strategic connection between Japan and Germany was minimal, and America didn't want to fight a two-front war as the logistics would be very difficult to manage. America may have never been able to make a proper push back against Japan by the time we defeated Germany.

Yes, strategically. But politically, they were decently connected. It was inevitable for Japan to attack the US. And likewise, if we went to war with Germany, its likely that Japan would have declared war on us, or we would have declared war on them in turn. I'm not arguing whether or not the United States would have been able to stop Japan, just simply saying that war would have broke out either way.
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Re: Pearl Harbor

Post by Nocbl2 on Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:38 am

KristallNacht wrote:
Was the attack justified?
In what way? Morally justified(i.e. America attacked first) or strategically justified? I would guess you mean the latter.
The Japanese intelligence was not too accurate in their prediction that the WHOLE fleet was there. If it was, it certainly would've been a disadvantage to America, but since the shiny new carriers were all gone at the time, America's wartime capabilities as a whole were not fully crippled. Maybe if the Japanese had continuously attacked the story would be different. So TL;DR–– from Japan's POV? Yes. In reality? No.

KristallNacht wrote:Was the attack honorable? (in a conventional sense of wartime honor)
It wasn't meant to be honorable, just strategically effective. Japan had no reason to dispute morality when they were expanding an empire. They just wanted effectiveness. No, not honorable.

KristallNacht wrote:Was the attack a wise choice on the side of the Japanese Empire?
Would've been had they done more attacks, and while the carriers were there.

KristallNacht wrote:What if the attack on Pearl Harbor hadn't happened?
It would've been longer until America joined the war, and though they might have done better because they had more time to prepare, it actually could've been worse in the long run since they may have still been chilling out waiting for the right time that might never have come.





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Re: Pearl Harbor

Post by Rotaretilbo on Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:01 am

KristallNacht wrote:But what about the fact only 56 of the 2,500 dead were civilians?

Sailors aren't civilians. But if a boat is sunk and sailors are swimming from the wreck, they are protected under the Geneva Convention.

KristallNacht wrote:Actually, the Empire of Japan knew the carriers were out, but they have spent so much time planning and getting ready that they pushed on, as a major objective of the destruction of morale, and at the time, the battleships were the pride of the Navy.

My point exactly. If they hadn't destroyed our battleships, we probably would have continued using the outdated battleship-focused navy.

KristallNacht wrote:The entire purpose of Japanese expansion was resources. How would it have benefited Japan to leave the existing Chinese in the claimed lands alive? Then the chances of later civil unrest become major issues, issues which the Empire of Japan didn't care to have on its plate.

It is and was commonly accepted that if you were going to brutally take the resources of others, you would at least not rape and slaughter their civilians too.

KristallNacht wrote:As far as I can find about that, Japan was not particularly deceptive in its declaration of war. The Admiral in charge of the attack set it up so that the message containing the declaration of war would arrive at a predesignated time and 30 minutes later Pearl Harbor would be attacked. But translation caused the message to be late.

What about the part where we were engaged in peace talks at the time? They intentionally led us to believe that we wouldn't need to go to war, then attacked us.

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Re: Pearl Harbor

Post by CivBase on Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:13 pm

So.... is there even a debate here?

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Re: Pearl Harbor

Post by KristallNacht on Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:13 pm

[quote="Ruski"
There was a finding by a law professor, Takeo Iguchi, in 1999 that pointed to intentional misleading on the part of Japan. Here's the article.[/quote]
It's possible that the military planners intended for war to be declared and then the civilian government decided they didn't like that idea and mislead both the Imperial Navy AND the US

Ruski wrote:
Yes, strategically. But politically, they were decently connected. It was inevitable for Japan to attack the US. And likewise, if we went to war with Germany, its likely that Japan would have declared war on us, or we would have declared war on them in turn. I'm not arguing whether or not the United States would have been able to stop Japan, just simply saying that war would have broke out either way.

Except the timeline for war would have been entirely different. So 'war broken out either way' isn't really 'the same thing would have happened'



Rotaretilbo wrote:
Sailors aren't civilians. But if a boat is sunk and sailors are swimming from the wreck, they are protected under the Geneva Convention.
Japan wasn't a part of the Geneva Conventions until 1953. The biggest part of breaching it is agreeing to it in the first place, as much of it is just gentlemanly agreements.

Rotaretilbo wrote:
It is and was commonly accepted that if you were going to brutally take the resources of others, you would at least not rape and slaughter their civilians too.
Maybe the rape is unnecessary, but killing the local populace is really the only strategic way to take land for the purposes of resources, aside from kicking them out, but I wasn't there, so I don't know that they never had a chance to get away.

Rotaretilbo wrote:
What about the part where we were engaged in peace talks at the time? They intentionally led us to believe that we wouldn't need to go to war, then attacked us.

That's international politics. The entire time between the first gulf war and 2003 our military was specifically training for the purposes of attacking Iraq, and most of that time Saddam wasn't even an aggressor.

“All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.” Sun Tzu

Besides, is it 'everyone expected war with Japan', or 'we thought we wouldn't need to go to war'?
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Re: Pearl Harbor

Post by Rotaretilbo on Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:50 pm

KristallNacht wrote:Japan wasn't a part of the Geneva Conventions until 1953. The biggest part of breaching it is agreeing to it in the first place, as much of it is just gentlemanly agreements.

The fact that Japan refused to agree to the Geneva Convention, committed various atrocities in east Asia, and was subsequently kicked out of the League of Nations has no bearings on whether or not it was wrong of them to strafe unarmed sailors swimming from sinking ships.

KristallNacht wrote:Maybe the rape is unnecessary, but killing the local populace is really the only strategic way to take land for the purposes of resources, aside from kicking them out, but I wasn't there, so I don't know that they never had a chance to get away.

There's a difference between putting down resistance, even somewhat brutally, and systematically slaughtering an entire populace on the premise that they might be upset that their land was taken so that some other country can seize their resources.

KristallNacht wrote:Besides, is it 'everyone expected war with Japan', or 'we thought we wouldn't need to go to war'?

You know full well there is a difference between what the common person thinks and what the government thinks.

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Re: Pearl Harbor

Post by dragoon9105 on Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:04 pm

As far as the Japanese were concerned at the time i think they thought their own actions were pretty damn well Honorable. But that's mostly because of Nationalism and Brainwashing.

As far as the pilots they thought the Americans were going to be damn well ready for them at least by the second wave. Under the twisted form of Bushido they were using at the time, the Fact that we weren't shooting back at them made us less than human, They had the same philosophy with civilians.

Doesn't Justify them but that's the reasoning behind wasting ammunition on unarmed sailors.
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Re: Pearl Harbor

Post by KristallNacht on Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:43 pm

Rotaretilbo wrote:
The fact that Japan refused to agree to the Geneva Convention, committed various atrocities in east Asia, and was subsequently kicked out of the League of Nations has no bearings on whether or not it was wrong of them to strafe unarmed sailors swimming from sinking ships.

When you play starcraft do you attack the enemy workers? Why? Possibly because its strategically efficient?

Rotaretilbo wrote:
There's a difference between putting down resistance, even somewhat brutally, and systematically slaughtering an entire populace on the premise that they might be upset that their land was taken so that some other country can seize their resources.
It's preemptive and strategically viable. They're just going to be in the way. In fact, a systematic slaughtering is methodical and unemotional and would be the preferred course of action. This wasn't a liberation, or annexation. This was purely for resources with an already too large number of workers.
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Re: Pearl Harbor

Post by Rotaretilbo on Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:02 pm

KristallNacht wrote:When you play starcraft do you attack the enemy workers? Why? Possibly because its strategically efficient?

That's why StarCraft is a game, and not real life. In real life, you're not supposed to go systematically slaughtering people.

KristallNacht wrote:It's preemptive and strategically viable. They're just going to be in the way. In fact, a systematic slaughtering is methodical and unemotional and would be the preferred course of action. This wasn't a liberation, or annexation. This was purely for resources with an already too large number of workers.

I'll just stop arguing this point. I forgot you were inherently broken.

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Re: Pearl Harbor

Post by KristallNacht on Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:08 pm

Rotaretilbo wrote:
That's why StarCraft is a game, and not real life. In real life, you're not supposed to go systematically slaughtering people.

Well then, what is war?


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Re: Pearl Harbor

Post by Kasrkin Seath on Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:17 am

I believe the point that Rot is trying to make is that it is seen as immoral to kill off civilians simply because they are in the way, or for most reasons you could come up with for that matter. However, I do think that your point is still understood, because from a strategic standpoint the civillians are just 'in the way' and that removing them makes the exploitation of their resources easier.

Viable strategy, but still immoral.

Another example of such a strategy: Firebombing of Japan

Not to make it seem that the mass killings in china were alright, but we(the US) engaged in a widespread firebombing campaign against Japan. Yes, civillian centers were considered fair targets due to several factors, but many of those factors also applied to the chinese populace [Resistance Groups, Home Production, etc.]. The firebombing was very effective, but also considered immoral (just like the atomic bombs).

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Re: Pearl Harbor

Post by KristallNacht on Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:24 am

making the attack of unarmed members of the Armed Forces far more understandable.
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Re: Pearl Harbor

Post by TNine on Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:39 pm

If the attack wasn't morally justified, than what kind of justified was it?

Besides, strafing unarmed sailors is neither moral nor efficient. Neither is raping and slaughtering a populace. That's just being cruel because you have the absolute power to be cruel.
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Re: Pearl Harbor

Post by dragoon9105 on Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:26 pm

Killing unarmed sailors is efficient in the fact that those sailors will not man new naval craft which forces more sailors to be recruited and trained a process which takes time and funds.
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Re: Pearl Harbor

Post by KristallNacht on Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:42 am

TNine wrote:If the attack wasn't morally justified, than what kind of justified was it?

Besides, strafing unarmed sailors is neither moral nor efficient. Neither is raping and slaughtering a populace. That's just being cruel because you have the absolute power to be cruel.

well, moral justification never matters in war...

and slaughtering a populace is efficient in that now the resources are readily available to you.
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Re: Pearl Harbor

Post by TNine on Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:32 pm

dragoon9105 wrote:Killing unarmed sailors is efficient in the fact that those sailors will not man new naval craft which forces more sailors to be recruited and trained a process which takes time and funds.
But they have limited time and resources. The amount of sailors in the Pacific was never going to be the problem for the US, it would be better to destroy the much more limited equipment.

KristallNacht wrote:
TNine wrote:If the attack wasn't morally justified, than what kind of justified was it?

Besides, strafing unarmed sailors is neither moral nor efficient. Neither is raping and slaughtering a populace. That's just being cruel because you have the absolute power to be cruel.

well, moral justification never matters in war...

and slaughtering a populace is efficient in that now the resources are readily available to you.
You can't slaughter an entire population, and if you try you will be met with extremely high resistance out of desperation. There are other ways to control a population.
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