The debate rages on among many: was it necessary to drop atomic bombs on Japan 60 years ago?

Oddly enough, polls say that most Americans say “yes”, and most Japanese say “no”. Go figure. The rest of those polled these days thought that “Fat Man and Little Boy” were Michael Moore and Robert Reich.

You don’t often see polls on whether or not it was necessary to bomb Pearl Harbor in 1941, but then that wouldn’t make America look like the jerk in the scenario, which is usually the goal.

The arguments have been presented ad nauseum… there would have been millions of casualties on both sides in an allied invasion of mainland Japan. Almost a quarter of a million Japanese died in the atomic bombings. It might sound awful to say, but lives were saved. Period.

Not to sound rash (a statement that almost always precedes something rash), but how is it that a quarter of a million-plus deaths in atomic bombings is more horrible than millions dying in the “regular” way? That seems to be the argument presented, and one that’s never made sense.

Should it have been dropped first in a display of the bomb’s power, such as on a deserted island or military base somewhere? That seems to be an argument, but the problem is that it’s an argument made by people who assume mindsets were rational– Imperial Japanese leadership was anything but.

If you’re somebody who thinks a “demonstration” would have made Japan surrender, think about it for a minute. Hell, Japan didn’t even surrender after the first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and killed well over 100,000 of their citizens in an instant. Do you really think blowing up a rock pile somewhere in the Pacific would have made them throw their hands in the air and wave the white flag?

Rational people who figure their enemy is also rational are often making a lethal assumption.

By the way, did you know that there are still remote places where you can find American liberals who still think their philosophies haven’t been completely discredited?


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