Skip to comments.Enola Gay-bashing: Fat Man, Little Boy, dumb poll
Posted on 08/08/2005 5:08:48 PM PDT by RightWingReader
In 2005, when you say "Fat Man and Little Boy," you could be referring to Michael Moore and Robert Reich, but 60 years ago, devices sporting those seemingly innocuous monikers caused historically unmatched destruction, and ended a long war.
Poll questions surrounding the 60th anniversary of the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan contained a universal question: "Was it necessary?"
The polls that I've seen don't ask, "Was it the best option?" but rather focus on an absolute necessity for the bombings. Most things aren't absolutely "necessary."
There are always other options options that may seem especially viable while being comfortably considered from afar, usually while participating in some poll decades after the incident in question.
Our opinion of what is "necessary" is often subject to our personal proximity to the danger, and since so many of us weren't even alive in 1945, it's easy to debate that question without the pressures of the moment. Harry Truman and company didn't have such a luxury.
Isn't it strange that you 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.
Should the atom bomb have been first dropped as a demonstration of its power, such as on a remote island or isolated military base? If you're somebody who thinks a "demonstration" would have made Japan surrender, think about it for a minute.
Japan didn't even surrender after the first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and instantly killed tens of thousands of their own citizens. Do you really think blowing up a rock pile somewhere in the Pacific would have made Japan's leadership throw their hands in the air and wave the white flag?
Rational people who figure their enemy is also rational could be making a lethal assumption.
As you would expect, many of the critics of Truman's decision are right here in the United States. After all, it can be easy for anti-war Americans to point the finger at the United States when it comes to civilian death in war. 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 their World War II 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 doesn't return the favor. Enemies of America were so honorable that, for example, if Japanese leadership discovered that the USS Arizona were filled with Cub Scouts shortly after ordering "Tora Tora Tora," the attack would have been aborted. Sure.
Because of this, the U.S. critic 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. American success in World War 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.
In World War II, as far as nations go, the good guys won, and the bad guys lost. Period. Basing historical judgment of wars purely on its kindness, or lack thereof, to civilians, is like searching for anthill-friendly steamrollers.
As an addendum, here's a quick "fun fact": 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.
Author's note: I've recently begun depleting the ozone layer of the blogosphere. Visit my new Web log for daily thoughts and responses to select reader e-mail.
Every discussion of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should be preceded by a showing of the film Tora, Tora, Tora and followed by detailed narratives of the Batan Death March and Jap prisons on the Philipines and the labor camps in Japan run by their industrial compex. There can be no question that Japan deserved the consequences of our best weapon to end the war. No real American should grieve over that event, not for a moment.
Skip the Tora x3 showing. But do show a Batan documentary as well as newsreel footage of the rape of Nanking. They had it coming and it prevented the neccessity of a invasion by US troops. Good enough for me.
I was born in 1954. But in August 1945 my dad was on a troop ship heading for Japan.
I believe that is is proper to feel grief over the Japanese civilians who died. I do believe the bombing was proper and ended the war poste haste. I have never regreted the event. I do regreat that the ravages of war are sometimes necessary.
Taking it to the enemy with full force is the best way to end hostilities quickly.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved American lives. If those events only saved only one U.S. life, the life of a citizen or a military member of the nation that was attacked in the first place, it was worth it.
Our citizens, our military members are not expendable. If someone attacks us, we're going to put them down.
Remember that folks who think the U.S. is a pushover.
I find it funny that the left is now bringing up the horror of WW2.
Was the dropping of THE BOMB correct?
How many were killed?
The Answer is how many lives were saved!
Sure innocent's were killed, but much less than would of happened if we stormed the beaches and continued to carpet bomb the Japanese cities!
Your name here ping.
From what I've read, the bombs saved Japanese civilian lives too. The Tojo and his generals were willing to sacrifice all the civilians to avoid surrender.
Enola Gay? Not that there is anything wrong with that. Bashing not appropriate.
I'd settle for a forced march through the "second half" of the D-Day Museum in New Orleans. When you leave that exhibit, you want to go nuke'em again, just to make sure they got the point.
Tomorrow is "Happy Nagasaki Day"!
I wouldn't be surpised. I'm sure it did.
I remember walking through the United Nations tour many years ago, and seeing all the exhibits they have about the horrible results of the nuking of Japan, and even though I was fairly young and not very politically astute, I was irritated by that display.
We shoulda bombed Berlin too..
Great point. The visual impression would be enough for most people!
I just remember the one display that told the story of a man on one of the south Pacific islands that was skinned alive... in front of his family... by the Japanese to serve as a warning to other islanders not to help the Americans. Nuking a couple of cities is nothing compared to the things these aminals did.