Tag Archives: Atomic bomb

The Atomic Bomb-Was It The Right Decision?

Sixty four years ago, an atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima and the controversy over the decision continues to rage in America. There is no question of the vast support for the Truman decision among those who were alive in 1945, but young Americans today quite frequently believe it was an act of immorality. A problem in posing the question to younger Americans is the reality few have any knowledge of World War II, let alone military concerns in the summer of 1945.

It is difficult for those who were not alive in 1945 to grasp the situation in America as its leaders prepared to drop the atomic bomb. During previous months, American forces had suffered high casualties in taking the islands of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. In the battle of Okinawa US forces suffered thousands of deaths including five thousand killed and wounded in the new Kamikaze suicide bomb attacks on ships. General Marshall, who was the brilliant head of the US army estimated there would be over a hundred thousand dead and wounded if American and British troops invaded the Japanese mainland.

We now know due to release of Japanese Cabinet meeting sessions that General Anami and the Japanese army actually believed they could defeat an Allied invasion of their nation and were ready to fight to the death despite dropping of the first atomic bomb. They had over 5,000 Kamikaze planes and at least three million soldiers prepared to die on the beaches. The assumption of the Japanese army was a defeat of the invasion would compel America and Great Britain to agree on an armistice. We now know that Japanese officers attempted to intercept the Emperor’s message of surrender and even killed guards at the Imperial Palace in their effort to thwart any message of surrender.

The reality is Japan behaved in a barbarous manner during World War II killing over four million Chinese including the rape and massacre of thousands in the city of Nanking. The Japanese killed 10,000 American and Filipino soldiers who had surrendered in the Philippines. They killed thousands of British POWs. There was no love or concern for the people of Japan in 1945 due to these actions. The bottom line is that the Allies offered an opportunity for Japan to surrender prior to dropping of the atomic bomb and it was rejected.

No American president could have done other than what Harry Truman did in August, 1945 but to order the dropping of the atomic bomb. In reality, that decision although killing two hundred thousand Japanese people also saved the lives of millions of Japanese. The Japanese army was prepared to have millions of their own people die in the cause of fighting to protect their “honor” as warriors.

War is hell and the innocent die because of armies which fight for honor and glory. Unfortunately, the Japanese people had no say in whether to continue fighting. Most probably, most actually believed they were winning so why surrender? Japanese naval leaders knew it was hopeless but until the Emperor made the decision to surrender there was no group that could accept defeat. Harry Truman concluded that peace could only be attained by use of the bomb. Historical documents now prove he made the right decision. If you doubt what I write, please read meetings of the Japanese Cabinet after the Hiroshima bomb was dropped.

North Korea –The Mouth That Roared

North Korea most probably can send an atom bomb in the direction of South Korea or Japan and inflict massive damage. Its army can move over the border and do extensive damage to the nation of South Korea. However, it can not win a war and in the process of initiating one will cause incredible damage, if not destruction, of its own country. Kim Jong Il, leader of the most secretive society in the world, told his military they are doing a wonderful job and should be prepared for action if it is necessary. The UN Security Council has ordered an almost total embargo and strict financial sanctions against North Korea. Pyongyang responded by blaming the “vile product” of American policy as the cause of its problems, and said it was now in the “early phase of all-out confrontation with the US.”

America Split On Military Action Against Iran

A recent poll appearing in USA TODAY indicates Americans are split over the issue of military action against Iran with 46% supporting it and 45% in opposition. Some critics of such surveys blame the manner of posing the question of military action as a reason so many are in favor of attacking Iran. For example, if the follow up said, “Do you support an American land attack on Iran?” the results might be markedly different. The poll indicates great concern about Iran’s development of a nuclear bomb, but three-fourths believe the US “will be too quick to use military force.” The voices of fear have been heard from virtually all Republican candidates vying for the presidential nomination and they repeatedly claim Iran is close to having an atomic bomb. The poll also indicated only 31% of Americans approve of the job being done by Bush and, for the first time, 50% “strongly disapprove” of his performance.

The high number of people supporting military action is a result of failure on the part of the media to present alternative voices about what really is going on in Iran and presenting realistic information about the state of Iran’s nuclear development program. America is also faced with a president who intends to stir up fear and hate as his only option to win over support from Americans who have lost faith in his leadership.

US Army Planned Cold War Assassinations With Radioactive Material

The Associated Press obtained copies of newly released documents from the early stages of the Cold War in the 1940s which reveal American armed forces were considering use of radioactive materials to assassinate unnamed “important individuals” in opposing nations. The documents reveal extensive discussion of a “new concept of warfare’ using radioactive materials from atomic bombs to contaminate large swaths of enemy land or to target airfields, factories and other facilities. The AP says the released documents were heavily censored to block out references to many aspects of the assassination plan, supposedly to prevent contemporary individuals from using the information. The project investigated the possibility of dropping bombs on enemy targets that had radioactive materials in order to render large sections of an opposing land uninhabitable. The project was run under jurisdiction of the Army Chemical Corps, and it was uncertain whether or not aspects of the program were turned over to the newly created CIA in 1947.

Perhaps, modern day people should not be shocked by such Cold War thinking. Leaders in the 1940s had just emerged from the devastating effects of World War II which witnessed the use of violent weapons ranging from atomic bombs to devastating fire bomb raids. Fear and anxiety were common as leadership struggled with the beginning of a new war– one that would be fought as much with military weapons as weapons of the mind. Perhaps, there is a lesson for contemporary leadership, in the end, it is not bombs, but minds which win wars.