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Was It Right for the Americans to Drop Nuclear Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: usa, war, murder, crime, ethics )

- 2115 days ago -
Lest we forget - On 6 August 1945 an American B-29 bomber dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. In a split second 100,000 people ceased to exist. Three days later another B-29 dropped a second bomb on Nagasaki, killing another 40,000.

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Rose Becke (141)
Thursday August 9, 2012, 9:15 pm
NO !

Past Member (0)
Thursday August 9, 2012, 11:04 pm
It was not right

Past Member (0)
Thursday August 9, 2012, 11:29 pm
No, of course it wasn't right. It was a war crime, plain and simple.

But consider this. If the point of dropping the first bomb was to let the Japanese know what America could do, then what was the possible need for the second one?

John D (22)
Friday August 10, 2012, 12:58 am
Their was no need to drop either bomb. Japan had lost the war by then and America had only one reason to drop its latest toys. To see how many people they killed and to research how many people died of radiation poisoning thereafter.

Naoko i (264)
Friday August 10, 2012, 5:11 am
If you ask "was it right?" then anything regarding war would be "not right."
Thanks John for this post.

Naoko i (264)
Friday August 10, 2012, 5:27 am
If you ask me "was it right?" then I can only say "anything regarding a war should be wrong."
Thnaks John for this post. Forwarded to my friends on Care2, and shared on Facebook.

Naoko i (264)
Friday August 10, 2012, 6:07 am
Don't know why but my comments disappeared twice.

Kit B (276)
Friday August 10, 2012, 8:12 am

I think people are paying attention, some are. Many of us want very much to have a full nuclear disarmament, on all sides. Americans, and many others are fully indoctrinated to believe what Harry Truman himself was told, that this was the only way to end the war. Some excellent historians, have shown that Japan was very close to ending their participation in WWII any way. What president's believe comes from their trusted sources of information, those sources often have their own agenda's.

Use of the atomic bomb in 1945, and the Cuban Missile Crisis are just too long ago for the collective memory. That is very scary, because the weapons of today are much worse then the weapons of yesterday.

Roger S (14)
Friday August 10, 2012, 12:02 pm
Interesting article, but i think the question "Was it right?" is rather ridiculous. As Naoko says above: If you ask "was it right?" then anything regarding war would be "not right."

We are justly horrified that one bomb could cause such massive destruction and loss of life, but then the history of warfare has been the history of developing more potent weapons. Swords and spears were better for killing than clubs and rocks. then came arrows and catapults; muskets and cannons; machine guns and tanks and mustard gas; aerial bombardment and rockets. Build a better mousetrap is a cliche, but build a better weapon is much more profitable.

The real question isn't "Was it right?, but "How can we prevent war and cure humanity's propensity for violence?"

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Friday August 10, 2012, 6:32 pm
I, like so MANY people at that time {I was a 9-year-old child in 1945!}, unthinkingly accepted that "it was unfortunately necessary to end the war without having to invade Japan, which would have resulted in the loss of even MORE lives". This was the OFFICIAL LINE of our govt.

We saw, because of War Propaganda, the Japanese people as way different from US, far less human. We saw them as {they were pictured as} apes and monkeys. There was far more vicious propaganda against them, than against the Germans {who are, after all, White people!}. There was recently an historical exhibition here in a Seattle museum, that makes one cringe.
Such people would NEVER surrender! There would be, we were told, house-to-house fighting in Tokyo until either every Japanese, or every American soldier, was killed! NATURALLY we didn't want casualties on this scale, for Americans, "our boys"!
This must've made the consciences of those who ORDERED the bombings, easier also.
This was what the entire American Public, really believed at that time.
[Also, we had NO IDEA at that time, of the real devastation and FUTURE harm the Bomb had done and would do.]

As papers released subsequently show, JAPAN WAS WILLING TO SURRENDER. The TERMS hadn't been agreed on yet. We were demanding "UNCONDITIONAL" surrender. Whatever THAT meant.
So, the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were AMONG THE FIRST VICTIMS OF THE COLD WAR AGAINST THE SOVIET UNION.

Then, after a few years, John Hershey's book "Hiroshima" came out.
I still remember reading it. I still remember the effect it had on me. It had that effect on LOTS of people.
This really shows the difference ONE BOOK, ONE PERSON can make.
NO-one can read this book, and not be affected by it.
The anti-nuke movement started right there. It is still going strong, with Creative Civil Disobedience of a Non-violent kind, being one of its features.
We are up against entrenched money and power, however.
Historical footnote: Nagasaki contained the most percentage of CHRISTIANS in Japan. They were sacrificed. It also contained AMERICAN PRISONERS OF WAR. Boom! Yes, WHY the SECOND bomb???

Thanks to all for posting.

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Friday August 10, 2012, 7:06 pm
Correction: I always thought it was John Hershey wrote "Hiroshima", that turning-point book.
This article spells his name "Hersey". I guess that's correct.
Find out more: Books:
Truman and the Hiroshima Cult by Robert P Newman (Michigan State University Press, 2004)

Rain of Ruin: Photographic History of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by Donald M Goldstein, Katherine V Dillon, J Michael Wenger (Brassey's Inc, 1995)

Hiroshima in History and Memory edited by Michael J Hogan (Cambridge University Press, 1995)

Weapons for Victory: The Hiroshima Decision by Robert James Maddox (University of Missouri Press, 2004)

Hiroshima by John Hersey (Alfred A Knopf, 1985) [a later edition, the book came out earlier. BMT]

Hiroshima: Three Witnesses edited by Richard H Minear (Princeton University Press, 1990)

Nagasaki, 1945 by Tatsuichiro Akizuki (Quartet Books, 1981)

The Bells of Nagasaki by Takashi Nagai (Kodansha Europe, 1984)

About the author:
Duncan Anderson joined the War Studies Department at Sandhurst as a senior lecturer in 1987, and has been Head of Department since 1997. He has written several books on World War Two, and worked for the British Army and other NATO forces in Germany, both lecturing and conducting staff tours.
I don't know how many of you actually READ all of this rather long article, published by the BBC.
Note that this article DISAGREES with everybody here so far! Ends up, if you go all the way to the very end, saying we SHOULD have dropped the Bomb; that it would have been "a crime NOT to have dropped it".

I don't know anything about the author; I wonder if he is a NeoCon! I just don't know. Being closely associated with NATO, perhaps he could be less-than-entirely-objective!
OUR views ARE stated in the article -- only to be refuted at the very end! Our views are called "revisionist". This author, Duncan Anderson, sets out to "revise the revisionists".
I still hold to my views, however. "Lefty" tho they might be!

And, there is simply NO EXCUSE WHATSOEVER, to CONTINUE in this way, "developing" ever new-and-more-terrible bombs, and means of lethal delivery.

Thank you Naoko for making many of us aware of this article.
And thank you John D. for posting it.

Naoko i (264)
Friday August 10, 2012, 10:39 pm
Thanks BMutiny, yes I did read to the end, which says America should have dropped the bombs after all. But I still thought it (the article) was worth reading.

John D (22)
Friday August 10, 2012, 10:53 pm
America did not need to drop the bombs. A demonstration of their firepower would have been enough to end the war.
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