The Church has condemned the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima as well as the fire bombing of Tokyo. All of that is included in Gaudium et Spes. All of it is unaccetable and none of it meets a single criterion of just war. Those who propose scenarios that might have been acceptable under a just war theory have ventured that a total blockade of Japan was both possible and would have been quickly effective as the U.S. Secretary of the Navy during the War believed. While there are those who would not concur, it would be the most acceptable to moral theologians who adjudicate such theories and possibilities.
Thank you for your response. I don't concur of course.
I don't concur based on these criteria: there must be serious prospects of success; the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated.
When the Japanese have illustrated countless times they will die for the emperor - believed on the spiritual level that the emperor could not possibly be defeated and were completely dedicated to keep fighting and dying until the inevitable victory of god came to pass - a blockade could only result in the slow and painful annihilation of noncombatants throughout the empire - a great many more than those who lost their lives in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
I believe that since even the horrors of fire bombing proved insufficient, a blockade would have only encouraged the emperor's ministers to delay, since the allied attack had turned weaker. If firebombing did not bring surrender, if Okinawa did not, if Hiroshima did not, a blockade would? No, respectfully, I think that fails to satisfy "serious prospects of success."
That the Secretary of the Navy thinks it will or might still doesn't obviate the view of those of equal or greater weight who disagreed.
In addition is the larger picture of Russia A) a much crueler combatant agains Japan and B) causing much more human suffering after the war had we not used the bomb.
For these reasons I believe it does meet the criteria of just war more suitably than a blockade, continued aerial bombardment or invasion, or doing nothing.
These were the choices and I believe the one made was the more moral decision and the one that resulted in the least loss of human life and the least human suffering both in its effect of ending the war and in its means.
And they wonder why they are an increasingly irrelevant institution.