Skip to comments.WSJ: Hiroshima - Nuclear weapons, then and now.
Posted on 08/05/2005 5:08:42 AM PDT by OESY
Today--or August 6 in Japan--is the 60th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, which killed outright an estimated 80,000 Japanese and hastened World War II to its conclusion on August 15. Those of us who belong to the postwar generations tend to regard the occasion as a somber, even shameful, one. But that's not how the generation of Americans who actually fought the war saw it. And if we're going to reflect seriously about the bomb, we ought first to think about it as they did.
...No surprise, then, that when news of the bomb reached Lt. Fussell and his men, they had no misgivings about its use: "...We were going to live."...
What about Japanese lives?... Since the ratio of Japanese to American combat fatalities ran about four to one, a mainland invasion could have resulted in millions of Japanese deaths--and that's not counting civilians....
Also true is that the threat nuclear weapons pose today is probably greater than ever before. That's not because they're more plentiful--thanks to the 2002 Moscow Treaty (negotiated by John Bolton), U.S. and Russian arsenals are being cut to levels not seen in 40 years. It's because nuclear know-how and technology have fallen into the hands of men such as A.Q. Khan and Kim Jong Il, and they, in turn, are but one degree of separation away from the jihadists who may someday detonate a bomb in Times or Trafalgar Square....
Looking back after 60 years, who cannot be grateful that it was Truman who had the bomb, and not Hitler or Tojo or Stalin? And looking forward, who can seriously doubt the need for might always to remain in the hands of right? That is the enduring lesson of Hiroshima, and it is one we ignore at our peril.
(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...
no point arguing with good logic.
My dad fought in the Phillipines. His next orders were to invade Japan. He would've been cannon fodder!
It would take roughly 5 seconds to find someone at DU to argue that Hitler, Stalin, or Tojo should have had the bomb first.
Such is the depth of America-hating in this world.
He makes it sound like we should have invaded.
I cringe to think liberals would rather have our own soldiers die than us dropping the bomb on the Japanese. Its war. Kill or be killed.
>>What about Japanese lives?... Since the ratio of Japanese to American combat fatalities ran about four to one, a mainland invasion could have resulted in millions of Japanese deaths--and that's not counting civilians....
Don't believe the numbers. Remember, people are claiming 100,000 Iraqi civilians are dead.
Don't believe the conservatives who have a "humanistic manifesto" about the bomb.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki were crimes against humanity......
And we should have used one in Korean War & the Viet Nam War and one more Muslim 9/11 type terrorist attack in America and we should use one on Mecca.
You sit fat, dumb and safe in your comfortable little seat, separated by 60 years from the worst war in history, and make such a sactimonious and mindless pronouncement!
How does it feel to join the ranks of those referred to by Lenin as "Useful Idiots"?
My grandfather was a Forward Air Controller in the 7th Marine division. They were on ships, at sea, en route to the invasion of Japan. Estimates were 1 million allied casualties to conquer the home islands. Thank God for the bomb.
There were over 100,000 Japanese civilian casualties in fire bombing raids of Tokyo. Conventional weapons wreaked far more casualties than those two bombs.
Somber? Yes. Also sad and terrifying and one of the most horrifying events in history. Also necessary.
We pray that such an event will never be repeated.
But anyone who regards the occasion as shameful is both ignorant and stupid. This includes the author of this "editorial".
Ignorance can be corrected through careful and honest study, but there's no cure for stupidity.
In the early '90s there was a story that was told by a Japanese Grandmother who was a young teenager in the Summer of 1945. She was training with a bamboo spear and was told that whe would be part of the first wave to charge down the beach to meet the invading Americans. She was told that the Kamikazee tactic would work. The invasion would be repelled because the sight of girls attacking would cause the Americans soldiers to pause. In that moment of hesitation the Emporer would have his way. I read Truman's autobiography and he was not ashamed with his decision.
I have concluded, and I'm not being sarcastic, that there is now a political party for dreamers, anarchists, the perpetually irresponsible, lunatics, and those who insist on living in denial. There is a political party for misfits and malcontents and deconstructionists and life haters and death lovers. They have taken over the Democratic Party. They have a new front man in Howard Dean, who rouses, gives voice to, and capitalizes for his own presumably grandiose ego satisfaction, thier refusal to accept reality; their insistance on fomenting unreality.
These are not insults. This group needs to be seen for what it is -- irrational. They need to be contained.
Not so minor, in the sense of commies having a nuclear capability before we did.
Imagine the total lack of handwringing, reflection, or regret from an Atomic Stalin using his weapons.
think about it.
Had there been a viable alternative, I might agree with you. There was not, so I don't.
I disagree. Torturing and beheading people, starting wars to enslave other countries, and fanaticism to the point where people would rather jump off a cliff than accept that they are human beings with faults like everyone else is not humanity. Hence, the bombs are the opposite of what you are saying. I just don't understand how you can be precisely 180 degrees away from reality. Must take a lot of effort.
But yet, those raids seriously impeded Japanese war materiel production because at the time, production of a long list of these items were done in small shops located in the city. The Japanese--if they had been just a bit smarter--would have safely hidden most of their war production in underground, bomb-proof factories like the Germans did later in World War II.
One of the things that always bothered me was why after the horrific experience of uncontrolled fires from the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 the Japanese government allowed cities to be rebuilt mostly of wood again. You'd think they would have mandated more fireproof structures....
There was no PC crap about a war against "sneak attackers" or struggle against "invading mean people."
In my little town in Kentucky that successful end to the war was celebrated. Yes, celebrated!
Then came the Korea "police action" and later the battles fought and won in Viet Nam and the war lost in the States.
Anyone not willing to rewind the clock to a 1945 sense of urgency will likely condemn us to failure and acceptance of the enemy's terms and the enemy's definition of "peace." IMO.
One more thing. The enemies within had no "rights."
The Rape of Nanking was a crime against humanity.
The nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a one-two knockout punch to the regime that had brought so much death and suffering to the world.
The bombs forced the Japanese to realize they were beaten, so using them shortened the war. America was determined to win and was preparing to invade. If you'd understood anything about the island campaign you'd know that it was merciless and bloody, and that invading the Japanese mainland would have been the same slaughter on a huge scale. There would have been millions of casualties, the great majority of them on the Japanese side.
My father was on Okinawa. He expected to go to Japan next. Thank God we had the bomb.
Ditto my dad who had recovered from burns suffered in a crash landing of his C-46 in China-Burma-India. The Army-air force was looking for experienced men who had served earlier in the war.
Japan has always been seriously short of raw materials, including metals. Alternatives to wood construction (which is relatively cheap) might have included masonry or concrete construction, but neither of those are attractive in an earthquake zone -- unless you use a lot of re-bar. Then you are back to competing with Japanese war industry for consumption of metal.
As the grandson of a Pacific War Veteran, let me be the first to say: you're an [expletive deleted] idiot.
To take it further, the dems would argue everyone should have equal opportunity to have the bomb. Its not fair for one country to have it and another not ... etc etc (barf) (barf)
Ain't it the truth? This asshat "1stFreedom" is simply beneath contempt.
"Hiroshima and Nagasaki were crimes against humanity"
I have talked to men who were assigned to be in the first wave of infantry & I will repeat their most polite reply to those who claim as you do . H*RSE SH*T!!! YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE F*CK YOUR TALKING ABOUT LITTLE BOY.
I remember where I was and how I felt when we received confirmation that we had used the A-bombs -- and that they had worked.
I was right across the road from the main gate of Elllington Army Air Corps Base, and I felt profound relief that the world-consuming war would soon be over -- and that all my friends and relatives would soon be home.
Where were you when we did what had to be done to convince the Japs to quit? (If you didn't live through the experience, then STHU!!!)
If Stalin had the bomb in '45 instead of the USA, then at the very least we would have seen half or all of Japan occupied by the Red Army and probably more of Europe such as Austria and Denmark.
We would not have been completed impotent facing a few atomic weapons but it would have changed things.
"It would take roughly 5 seconds to find someone at DU to argue that Hitler, Stalin, or Tojo should have had the bomb first. Such is the depth of America-hating in this world."
It would take me roughly 2 seconds to cold-cock anyone who would even suggest such a thing in my presence. I would love to be locked in a room with some of these brain-dead fools. I'm the only one who would walk out alive.
Avoid every insititution of higher learning in the country.
Your arms will get tired before you run out of heads to crack.
>You sit fat, dumb and safe in your comfortable little seat, separated by 60 years from the worst war in history, and make such a sactimonious and mindless pronouncement!
And you sit fat, dumb, and safe in your comfortable seat, separated by 60 years from the worst war in history, and are willing to condemn the citizens of two cities. Easy to say someone should die from your chair, isn't it?
>>There were over 100,000 Japanese civilian casualties in fire bombing raids of Tokyo. Conventional weapons wreaked far more casualties than those two bombs.
And Dresden was also horrific....
Get lost, loser.
>>Torturing and beheading people, starting wars to enslave other countries, and fanaticism
So all the residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were slave owners and beheaders?
>>Hence, the bombs are the opposite of what you are saying.
Really? Hmm, tell that to children who were killed by those bombs.. I'm sure if they were around to argue their case with you, you'd have a much better insight..
>>My father was on Okinawa. He expected to go to Japan next. Thank God we had the bomb.
I believe God takes offense at any thanks for the bomb.
There is no excuse for it's use, for the fire bombing of Dresden and other cities.
>>As the grandson of a Pacific War Veteran, let me be the first to say: you're an [expletive deleted] idiot.
I'm sure there are many former residents of Nagasaki and Hiroshima who would call you the same -- cept they died in the blasts.
>> have talked to men who were assigned to be in the first wave of infantry & I will repeat their most polite reply to those who claim as you do . H*RSE SH*T!!! YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE F*CK YOUR TALKING ABOUT LITTLE BOY.
Look, war is hell, and I'm sure most infantry men would rather someone else die than them. That's understandable...
The problem is that killing hoards of civilians is not the answer. And as the son of an Army soldier, a former army man myself, I can gladly say dropping the bombs was wrong and a crime against humanity.
And yes, I do have an idea what I'm talking about -- it's why I don't have to resort to using expletives...
And there are today many Japanese who are damned glad the war ended when it did, otherwise they would never have lived to see 1946. I lived in Japan in the 1950s and got to know many of them. Unless you have firsthand information on the subject, the kindest word for your rant would be "revisionist."
Now now. That kind of talk gets a fella in trouble.
I had an intro polisci course once. Toward the end of the semester we spent a class discussing the atomic bombing of Japan.
Part of my preparation was reproducing newspaper headlines from the war, particularly Dec 7 1941, to try and get these kids to fathom that the mindset then was not the same as theirs now.
A couple of the young ladies in that class, long used to comfortable agreement with their hippy outlook, looked like deer in the headlights when I unloaded on them.
Pathetic. Haven't you ever heard that it is better to remain silent and be thought the fool, than to speak and remove all doubt?
"A couple of the young ladies in that class, long used to comfortable agreement with their hippy outlook, looked like deer in the headlights when I unloaded on them."
LOL!!! It's grand isn't it when you use facts and truth on these fools.
Can't really say I care what they would say about me: their country started the war. Mine ended it.
cept they died in the blasts
Good. Their deaths were part and parcel of the bargain they accepted when they acquiesced to the fascist leadership that led them into a war of conquest in the Pacific, and commenced, incidentally, with a sneak attack on our country.
And, beyond all that happy horsecrap, to the extent that their deaths afforded my grandfather the opportunity to live--to avoid his inevitable participation in Operation "Olympic" and "Coronet"--I say I'm quite delighted by the outcome.
Now, get lost you filthy quisling troll.
I notice that many of you can only reply to my post with expletives.
I'm sure you find it unbelievable that a conservative is not towing the conservative line on this issue.
You can't understand how someone can disagree with you on this unquestionable issue.
But I challenge you to consider that committing a regional genocide against civilians is a crime against humanity.
From your replies, it seems that many of you have not actually thought this issue through, but rather, have decided it was the right thing to do and are defending it on that basis.
I challenge you to look past a blind faith about the bomb and apply some critical thinking here...
Ask yourselves the following questions:
Did God fearing civilian Christians in Nagasaki deserve to die?
Did small children deserve to die?
Is it true justice to intentionally kill people who aren't in the military?
Would I think it be ok for this to happen had I lived in one those cities at the time?
It's easy to condemn a city and it's inhabitants to death from a distance. But what if this were your city?
Folks, it's time to put the thinking cap on and take the dogma cap off.
I think it comes from blindly believing that the use of the A bomb was good. If you actually had though this through, you'd have something to