On August 6 I kept reading about the bombing of Hiroshima. I didn’t read the articles because there are two general approaches. The first is the revisionist approach that ignores all of the facts and weeps bitter tears about how mean the United States was to commit this war crime. If you are ignorant, stupid or evil that all makes sense. The second is that it ended the war quickly and saved hundreds of thousands of American lives and since the Japanese as a nation were committed to suicidal resistance, it also ended up saving millions of Japanese lives. That is a net savings, not gross.
I thought it might be interesting to bring in a bit of the thinking expressed at the time. I offer you Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain. He was in on the research leading up to the development of the bomb. He was involved with the decision to drop it. This comment was published in 1953 and reflects an insiders view of what was going on.
“At any rate, there never was a moment’s discussion as to whether the atomic bomb should be used or not. To avert a vast, indefinite butchery, to bring the war to an end, to give peace to the world, to lay healing hands upon its tortured peoples by a manifestation of overwhelming power at the cost of a few explosions, seemed, after all our toils and perils, a miracle of deliverance.” p. 639Two issues are clear here. This weapon was viewed as a release from the butchery that started in 1939 and consumed at least 20 million lives. Also no one had any serious doubts about using it. You may not like history. You may not like reality. Picture what the world would be like today if they had refused to drop the bomb. The butchery in China and Korea would have continued. Millions more would have died. The Soviet Union would have made a land grab in Asia. Two cities in the country that initiated the Bataan Death March is a small price to pay. And keep in mind that the slaughter of the first bomb was not enough to bring surrender. The allies had to do it again.
Churchill, Winston S. Triumph and Tragedy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1953.
homo unius libri