Death of a Hero

nullRetired Brig. Gen. Paul Tibbets, Jr., who piloted the aircraft Enola Gay, that dropped the first atomic bomb used in war, has died. That in and of itself isn’t surprising, as he was 92 years old. Tibbets’ death will, however, give the left a fresh opportunity to be absolutely wrong yet again.

When you say “Fat Man and Little Boy” these days, you could be referring to Michael Moore and Dennis Kucinich, but 60 years ago, devices sporting those seemingly innocuous monikers caused historically unmatched destruction, and ended a long war.

Some don’t see it that way. Check out this story written for the Los Angeles Times on the death of Tibbets. They could barely wait until the third paragraph before writing this:

The pilot never apologized for unleashing the devastating explosive force and insidious nuclear radiation that leveled more than two-thirds of the buildings in Hiroshima and immediately killed at least 80,000 people.

It’s implied almost immediately that Tibbets should have apologized. He never did. He never even came close. This is something that was of constant irritation to the left. In journalism school these days, duty, honor and country are things that are taught in foreign language classes, which aren’t requirements to be an MSM reporter.

The above paragraph about the death of Tibbets reminds me of the numerous polls that were taken in 2005, on the 50th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Polls everywhere asked, “Was it necessary?”

Isn’t it strange that we don’t often see polls on whether or not it was “necessary” to attack Pearl Harbor in 1941?

The arguments have been presented ad nauseum … there would have been millions of casualties on both sides in an allied invasion of mainland Japan. Not to sound rash (a qualifier that almost always precedes something so rash that it should only be read in close proximity to a tube of Desitin), 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 crux of the argument most often presented, and one that’s never made sense.

As you would expect, many of the critics of Truman’s decision and Tibbets’ action are right here in the United States. It’s for this reason that Paul Tibbets, Jr. requested no funeral service and no headstone. Tibbets didn’t want his funeral or gravesite to become a gathering place for protesters. That an American hero feels he can’t have a headstone in the very nation he helped save due to threats from the very people helped save should give us an uneasy feeling about the state of education in this country.

There are no more tiny islands in the South Pacific that are inhabited by Japanese soldiers who don’t know the war’s over, but there are still remote corners of academia where you can find leftist professors who still think their philosophies haven’t been completely discredited, and they gladly pass those along to their students.

The United States has been lucky — with the exception of 9-11, civilian deaths on the mainland America due to enemy action have been minimal. The geographic location of the United States made it tough for enemies of America to stage strikes on its soil. This isn’t due to lack of desire, but rather lack of ability.

Heavy criticism of America’s bombing of civilians implies that its WWII enemies instead focused on military rather than civilian targets (don’t tell that to the victims of the rape of Nanking or the other millions of Chinese civilians killed in the second Sino-Japanese War, or British victims of Germany’s Blitzkrieg), but the United States didn’t return the nicety.

Because of this, the American left may find it easy to look at the incendiary attacks on Dresden, carpet bombings on German and Japanese cities, and the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — millions of civilian casualties in all — and assume the United States was unfairly advantaged because Japan and Germany were unable to return the favor to Joe Sixpack in Boston, Los Angeles and Paducah.

The American victory in WW II violated the tenet of leftist philosophy: fairness. They’ve read and seen “Failsafe” so much that the only acceptable final ending to the U.S.-Japan war would have been for Henry Fonda to order American planes to nuke New York — just as soon as they were able to safely evacuate all the professors at Columbia.

The left’s frustration with WWII is that the outcome of the war wasn’t “fair.” To that I can only say this: thank God for cheaters like Paul Tibbets, Jr., and may he rest in peace.

Author: Doug Powers

Doug Powers is a writer, editor and commentator covering news of the day from a conservative viewpoint with an occasional shot of irreverence and a chaser of snark. Townhall Media writer/editor. alum. Bowling novice. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan. Contact: