Skip to comments.Remembering When We Were Strong: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the Moral Necessity of a Nuclear Strike
Posted on 08/08/2013 11:15:14 PM PDT by neverdem
In a time when America lacks the strength of will to force an active-duty Army officer (and admitted terrorist) to shave his jihadist beard before appearing at a court-martial, when we wring our hands in guilt over the use of the most precise weapons ever devised against an enemy of unquestioned cruelty and malice, and when we respond to threats with weakness that merely encourages greater violence, its worth remembering a time when this nation understood the necessity the moral necessity of decisive force.
By July 26, 1945, Imperial Japan was well on its way to defeat, yet it was still capable of great harm. Our navy (with the able and courageous British assistance) had swept the once-fearsome Japanese navy from the seas, and we were slowly destroying Japans capacity to wage war. Allied forces were on the move in Southeast Asia, the Soviet Union was poised to enter the conflict with overwhelming force (1.5 million men massed on the border of Japanese-held mainland territory), and the American army was barely a month removed from a decisive victory in the months-long battle for Okinawa. Japan was going to lose the war. It was inevitable.
That was the good news. But that good news was more than tempered by the bad news of the cost of that ultimate victory. Its tough for us to understand now, as many Americans have spent time in the new Japan, buy Japanese products, and rightly regard Japan as an indispensable ally, but in World War II the Japanese military fought with a ferocity that made al-Qaeda look casual and uncommitted. In Okinawa, the Japanese hurled more than 1,000 kamikaze suicide bombers at the American fleet, and tens of thousands more kamikazes readied to defend the Japanese home islands. Japan still held huge swathes of Chinese territory, where unrelenting war and mass-scale atrocities had already cost more than 10 million Chinese lives.
Just as disturbing, recent American experience in Saipan and Okinawa had illustrated the extent to which the Japanese civilian population would suffer in any further close combat. By some counts, up to one-third of the total civilian population of Okinawa died during the American invasion, many by suicide as parents killed children, then themselves, rather than fall into allied hands. At Saipan, Japanese civilians committed suicide by the hundreds sometimes cutting their own childrens throats persuaded by Japanese propaganda that Americans would commit unspeakable atrocities against civilians. Assuming similar behavior during an invasion, estimates of additional Japanese casualties ran into the millions with American casualty estimates wildly varying but certainly no less than hundreds of thousands.
Faced with the twin realities of inevitable Japanese defeat and staggering civilian and military casualties, the allies did the right thing: On July 26, they issued a surrender demand, the Potsdam Declaration(PDF).
The Japanese rejected it, the atomic bombs followed roughly two weeks later, and the war ended.
Its difficult to estimate the millions of lives those bombs saved, and the uncounted millions of descendants that live today as a result of Americas decisive application of force. But the benefits go beyond a mere calculus of lives saved, American total war didnt just defeat Japanese militarism on the battlefield, it destroyed it as a credible world view, as a credible moral force in Japanese life. This rejection of aggressive militarism has yielded incalculable benefits not just for generations of Japanese but also for generations of Koreans and Chinese nations that had suffered under Japanese oppression.
As we confront once again the anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and as Americas critics decry our alleged barbarism, its worth remembering that weakness has terrible costs, and moral critics of decisive force should wrestle with that cost rather than utter platitudes like the U.N. did this week:
True security is based on peoples welfare and not on military annihilation, senior United Nations officials said today, marking the 68th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and later Nagasaki, and honouring the survivors of the bombings known as hibakusha.
We are united in countering the erroneous view that security is achieved through the pursuit of military dominance and threats of mutual annihilation,Secretary-GeneralBan Ki-moon said in his message to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony.
He added that security is based on a thriving economy, strong public health and education programmes, and on fundamental respect for our common humanity, and not on military prowess.
Japan and Germany were, of course, industrially advanced countries among the richest in the world when they launched their wars of aggression. Todays terrorists, though not nearly as formidable as Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan, hardly conform to the stereotype of the disenfranchised poor lashing out in desperation. Food stamps and single-payer health care arent firewalls against evil, and were fools if we entertain that belief.
As the horror of World War II begins to fade into distant memory, its imperative that we not let the Left control the narrative. Already in pacifist Christian circles, Ive seen historically illiterate professors and pundits condemn the Hiroshima bombing with greater ferocity than they condemn the rape of Nanking, much less Japans years-long reign of terror in China. Our nation dialogues with (and funds) Holocaust-denying jihadists and displays little more than worried impotence as a hostile and hateful Iranian regime races towards an atomic bomb.
As a result, this generation or a generation to come may once again confront a series of terrible choices (I pray not involving nuclear weapons), but as they consider those choices, they should remember not just the Enola Gay, but the entire strength of this nation fully at war in 1945. Remember the lives we saved, and remember the far better societies that rose from the ashes.
In the fight against evil, there are times when the strong response is the right response.
The Nation Calls the Bombing of Hiroshima Terrorism
I always found the most interesting part of those two nuclear bombings the fact that we experimented with uranium on Hiroshima and plutonium on Nagasaki. They were two differently fueled atom bombs (”Little Boy and “Fat Man”). One result I remember reading about in the ‘70s was that surviving citizens of Hiroshima had a far higher incidence of leukemia than the survivors in Nagasaki.
“I think one man is just as good as another so long as he’s honest and decent and not a n****r or a Chinaman. Uncle Will says that the Lord made a white man from dust, a n****r from mud, then He threw up what was left and it came down a Chinaman.” ~Harry Truman, age 27, in a letter to his future wife.
I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything.
~ Abraham Lincoln -- Fourth Debate with Stephen A. Douglas at Charleston, Illinois, September 18, 1858
Japanese-Christian soldiers included stealthy acts of kindness towards Allied POWs. (A scarce commodity in WWII).
Neither is the building of roads and schools in the $#!+hole of Afghanistan....
“I always found the most interesting part of those two nuclear bombings the fact that we experimented with uranium on Hiroshima and plutonium on Nagasaki. They were two differently fueled atom bombs (Little Boy and Fat Man).”
Two types of atomic bombs were used simply as a matter of expediency. All other considerations were no more than opportunistic afterthoughts. When the Unitedd States embarked upon its development of a nuclear weapon, the decision was made to attempt the production of two different types of bomb grade fissionable nuclear material: uranium and plutonium. This decision was made in the hope that if one of the fissionable materials could not be made available and be fashioned into a working atomic bomb, then perhaps the other could be. In the end, both fissionable bombs were made a reality at virtually the same time, but there was one important difference. The bomb grade fissionable material was in much too little supply to fashion more than one or a few atomic bombs before the end of 1945 or the scheduled amphibious invasions of the japanese Home Islands in Spring 1946. The more of this uranium used to produce uranium bombs meant fewer plutonium bombs in the required time schedule. This resulted in the decision to use the prototype uranium bomb core on a Japanese target, while the first plutonium core was used to test the bomb design at Alamagordo, and the second plutonium core on the second Japanese target. A third plutonium core was readied for another attack upon a Japanese target later in August. Each of the remaining months in 1945 would have brought an increasing number of plutonium cores available for use until Japan either surrendered or the invasion of Japan ended the nuclear bombardment.
The plutonium bomb became the atomic bomb of choice because more of the plutonium cores could be produced at a faster rate. It also helped that the explosive yield was superior. It was only after some months and years had passed that the radiological studies discovered the radiation effects were considerably worse than had been anticipated. This wqas in the day and age when shoe stores and departments were using X-ray machines to X-ray customers’ feet to sell shoes to customers by showing how the feet looked inside the shoes being sold.
It should also be remembered how Japan also had two competing atomic bomb development programs, one for the Army and one for the Navy. Additonally, Japan had developed and considered using other eapons of mass destruction against the Continental United States. The largest submarines built before the advent of nuclear submarines about fifteen years later were constructed to carry weapons of mass destruction against American targets. Only the abrupt end of the war prevented them from reaching their intended targets.
~ Abraham Lincoln -- Fourth Debate with Stephen A. Douglas at Charleston, Illinois, September 18, 1858
Creepy ass cracker....
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Nagasaki became the actual target of the second attack because the primary target had an overcast cloud deck that made the mandatory visual targeting impossible. Had Japan not surrendered, Nagasaki no doubt would still have had its military and military industrial targets struck by one of the next few atomic bombs in August or September 1945. Kokura and the Kokura Arsenal were immensely fortunate to have escaped destruction by an atomic bomb.
People tend to forget that the Japanese leading up to WWII were essentially murderous criminal racist/rapist bastards. All one has to do is look at Nanking in 1937-1938. Anyone who thinks that ending the war with 2 atomic weapons was a bad idea is an utter fool....
We probably never would have had to drop the bomb on Japan, if FDR hadn’t been manipulated by Stalin. The USSR was never made to declare war on Japan, and they never did until the day before we dropped the 2nd bomb.
We didn’t drop a bomb on Germany. You claim they were innocents saints then?
Hussein has compared himself to that creepy ass cracker.
the alternative was “no mainland invasion”
The Germans surrendered in May, ‘45. We dropped the bombs on Japan in Aug. Personally I wouldn’t have had a problem with us nuking Berlin, but since I’m of Japanese descent I tend to be more critical of my ancestral homeland....