May 7, 2009

No reason to be ashamed...

Also part of that TigerHawk quote from the previous post:


The US had already firebombed Tokyo with a higher loss of life than either Hiroshima or Nagasaki. The US had also firebombed about 70 other Japanese cities. Without the A-bomb drops, Curtis LeMay would have lit up all of Japan -- conventionally -- by the time of an invasion, and had already made a good start. The B-29 was a remarkable plane for its time -- it ... not the A-bomb ... would have become known as the greatest single killing machine in world history.

The horror of WWII was that civilians became military targets, all over the world. In terms of "people killed" -- a gross measure, but still relevant -- Hiroshima and Nagasaki don't rank that high. You want "millions" and "horrific", you can't beat the Nazis. The Japanese military killed 200,000 to 300,000 civilians at Nanking alone -- and did it "retail" and often sadistically.

I'm not proud that the US nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- but it was justified and the right decision in the context of WWII.

Jon Stewart -- who I like -- is just wrong on this. Exploding an A-bomb at sea as a demonstration wouldn't have been effective. I'd even go so far as to say that the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki may have helped the US and Soviets steer away from actual using the damned things...

Well, I AM proud that we nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was the correct moral choice, so there is no reason to be ashamed of. (And if it had been Russians who ended the war by using nukes, our lefty-frauds would have no problem with it.)

If you know the history of how difficult it was for those in the Japanese government who wanted to surrender to pull it off (the book to read is: Japan's Longest Day) you see that it is 99% likely that the nuclear bombing was one of the great acts of mercy in history, one that saved millions of lives. (If you think I'm being foolish, just read up on the battle for Okinawa, and multiply that by the much greater size and population of the main Islands!) The discussion thread I took these quotes from has comments from the descendents of Americans who were poised to invade Japan, and were saved from a bloodbath by the Atom Bomb.

But even that is in a way too America-centered; the number of Asians (including Japanese) we saved by using our nukes was far greater. Remember, Japan had more than a million men under arms in Manchuria at the end of the war. Imagine all of them fighting to the death, as was normal. Or running amok in defeat, as in the sack of Manila. (You might read this, on Japanese war crimes. Crimes which the A-Bomb put a stop to.)


Posted by John Weidner at May 7, 2009 1:25 PM
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