Thursday, August 6, 2009

No Apologies for Hiroshima

By Alan Caruba

August 6, 1945 is the date on which the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. A day later, a second was dropped on Nagasaki. Shortly thereafter, Japan surrendered, ending World War II.

The surviving veterans of that war are now dying off as might be expected of an event that ended some 64 years ago. The question is, how many of them would have survived an invasion of Japan? Back then, the estimates were in the hundreds of thousands of casualties.

Having attacked America on December 7, 1941, the Japanese, who wanted to control all of Asia and had waged war in Asia for many years prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, had dreams of hegemony on the far side of the Pacific Ocean. They had bombed Beijing (then called Peking) in 1937 and invaded the Philippines in 1941.

The one fact of World War II that is generally ignored is that the United States had desperately wanted to avoid participating. The war in Europe had been raging since 1939. Russia had allied itself with the Nazis and joined in the invasion of Poland. The war in Asia had begun two years earlier.

Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World War II and, as they say, the rest is history.

The decision to develop and then to use the atomic bomb was the right one. There were many dead in the two cities that were bombed, but there were many dead throughout the Pacific theatre of war, many of them civilian victims.

To this day, particularly in the Middle East, the U.S. is accused of doing something immoral to end World War II and, in particular, the war with the Empire of Japan. War, itself, can be deemed immoral, but that has never stopped one.

So I suggest there should be no apologies for what happened in Hiroshima (the U.S. dropped leaflets advising the populace to leave the city).

All this is worth keeping in mind as the U.S. stands by idly while Iran works feverishly to acquire its own nuclear weapons and while North Korean tests theirs and sells the technology to any buyer.


Louise W said...

I will not be surprised if Obama gives a speech apologizing for the action taken to end the war. He has apologizeed for most everything else the U.S.has done that he considers evil. I expect he won't let this event to pass him buy.

My Father fought in the Pacific during the war and thank God came back alive. However, he had many stories of Japanese atrocities inflicted on POws. The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, while tragic, stopped the slaughter from continuing.

Tom said...

Thank you for a clear summary of this important action by a "Green" President! I work every day with vets and many of them have Pres. Truman to thank for his clarity of purpose.

Clive Graham Smale said...

Here, in the remote provinces, one sees very few - if any - Japanese. People still remember the vicious, inhumane invasion of these Reapers of death.
My mother-in-law speaks of hiding in local forest as a child when patrols were known to be in the area. One woman, only recently dead, had a large wound around her neck where some officer tried to decapitate her; left for dead she was lucky to survive.
The savagery of Japanese occupation was visited upon many innocents in many lands
Just remember Nanking; photos from that city, taken by the Japanese themselves, will make you weep.
Yes, the US did the world a great service using atomic weapons to end the war - it saved many in all Asian countries. Shock and awe works.
As with the constant reminder of Hitler's Germany so must the world be constantly reminded of Japan's role in WW2.
As we have seen all too ofter, barbarism is hiding in plain sight.

Doug said...

To this day, the Communist left laments the "needless" death caused by the dropping of the A-bombs in Japan. Did the US REALLY believe there would be a lot of casualties during a full-fledged invasion of Japan? Let's put it this way: 500,000 Purple Hearts were ordered prior to an invasion, in anticipation of the invasion casualties. To this day, we are still working off of that "inventory." As of 2003, there were still 120,000 left.

Thank God for the A-bomb drops. My late father made it back in one piece to become my father, for which I am eternally grateful. Think of all the other great men of the WWII generation whom we all grew up knowing, for better or worse. Many of them owe their lives, too, to the decision to drop the bombs!

Alan Caruba said...

I will shed no tears for any lives lost when Israel bombs Iran's nuclear facilities. I pray that they will.

The alternative would be a second Holocaust for Israel and the world.

Doug said...

I believe you are saying, properly, that sometimes you have to expend lives to save more lives. As harsh as it is, it still makes more sense than Joe "the moron" Biden's sage advice that to avoid bankruptcy we have to spend more....

mawm said...

The problem is twofold. The current leaders can't see good from evil and, if they did, do not have the guts to do it properly.

Paul Schultz said...

To clarify the issue, the second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki THREE days later (Aug. 9th), not the day after Hiroshima as the article claims. Sorry for the hair-splitting, but it is important to remember that even AFTER Hiroshima, the Japanese government refused to surrender. For three full days, Allied demands for capitulation were ignored, so the decision to drop the second bomb was made. And after that, when the Emperor decided to end the War, an aborted coup was launched by militarists in the Japanese Army and government who STILL refused to surrender. Most ended up committing suicide when their plot failed. Any claim that an invasion of the Japanese home islands would have been accomplished with a low number of casualties (on both sides) is laughable.

WWII buffs might want to check out my new novel, THE FUHRER VIRUS. It is a fictional spy/conspiracy/thriller for adult readers and can be found at,,, and on Google Review.


Paul Schultz