07 August 2010

Hiroshima -- another view

Yesterday was the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, and we were predictably treated to a veritable mushroom cloud of hand-wringing clichés.

There are cases where knowing a person from a totally different background can be valuable because it exposes you to a totally different viewpoint. This is one of those cases.

Back when I lived in California, I was involved for five years in a relationship with a Chinese woman (born and raised in China, immigrated to the US as an adult). I once explained to her that many Americans now believe the Hiroshima bombing to have been morally wrong, and asked her what she thought.

She told me she thought this was the stupidest thing she had ever heard of. She further said that she was confident I could search the whole of China and never find even a single person who would believe that the US was wrong to use the atomic bombs against Japan.

Knowing as I do some details of the ghastly atrocities committed by the Japanese occupiers in China and elsewhere in Asia, this reaction did not surprise me at all. Millions upon millions were murdered, often hideously. But to too many Americans today, the Japanese atrocities of that time are just an abstraction. Only Western crimes seem real.

On 6 August 1945, vast regions of China and several other Asian countries were still occupied by the forces of that unspeakably sadistic and ruthless empire. On Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and else- where, Japanese troops had repeatedly shown a willingness to fight with suicidal ferocity even when defeat was certain.

Without the atomic bombs, the war might have lasted -- how much longer? A few weeks, maybe? How many more innocent Chinese, Koreans, and others would the Japanese have murdered in those few more weeks?

My former lady friend was right. The hand-wringers are wrong.


Blogger Leslie Parsley said...

As you know my friend, there are always two or more sides to these types of issues. Magpie, who is married to a Japanese lady, has an interesting story on Parsley's.

07 August, 2010 09:01  
Blogger mendip said...

Quite right. Detailed arguments would take a whole book, but my observation has been that the opponents of the atomic bomb seem to have a much too casual view of the facts regarding Japan's defensive plans, as well as what Truman was being told by his advisors (to expect anything from one quarter to one MILLION American casualties in an invasion). War is a horrible business, often worse in the long run if fought by people trying to play down or ignore that fact.

07 August, 2010 11:13  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

TNLib: Of course there are two sides, but my point is, throughout the liberal blogosphere I'm seeing only the anti-bomb side presented -- the same old hand-wringing clichés, the same studied ignoring or brushing-off of that actual historical context which I describe here. I felt it necessary to point out that there are profound issues which that stance fails to confront.

Mendip: Given the casualties on Iwo Jima and Okinawa, such figures are very plausible. Back when I was a student (this must have been over thirty years ago), I was once in a community-college class where the subject of the Hiroshima bombing came up, and I opined that it had been the right thing to do because of the great number of American soldiers who would otherwise have been killed in an invasion of Japan. An older man sitting behind me said, "Well, I agree with that, because I was one of those soldiers who was waiting to be sent to invade Japan. We were all very relieved when we heard about the atom bomb, I can tell you."

It was a regrettable necessity. But it was a necessity.

07 August, 2010 11:27  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Interesting view/ read here Mr.Infidel. I was commenting on Ms.Leslie's(TNlib) the other day when she brought up this era, and had a decent selection of video's to go along. First of all, I'm very much for getting rid of nuclear weaponry, my problem with it is enviromental reason's, after the fact, I mean, if we had an all out nuclear war, no doubt many human's would die, but I also wonder what would happen to the enviroment?, beside's with today's tech's, we can be efficient with drone's and other newer method's and arsenal's in defense. However, concerning Japan ... as you probably know, I love Japan, although never was fortunate enough to have went there as yourself, I just love their culture and progress, and they ended up as fairly good allies and business partner's. What happened when we bombed them was sad indeed, and it is easy to look at corpses in aftermath of any tragedy and portray it as "evil" when we want to make a statement, for our "war's of word's". It was the way it was, period. Look ... that stunt Japan pulled over attacking Pearl Harbour was not an excercise either .... at that time, the US Military had such a large percentage of it's Naval Defense there .... they obviously in my opinion wanted to at least immobilize it, and if so .... Why? I dont think they were selling "woof ticket's"(talk) or whatever with action like that. Unfortunately we have to still have these weapon's ....of "mass destruction", as former President Bush would call such. I hate using them, but frankly, if I had no choice I would ... I am not going to let someone just mozy on into Dodge and take it over. On the issue/ act's of "good or evil" .... it's the action's of human's when in conflict, and result's of such.

Anywayz Guy ... liked the posting

08 August, 2010 05:21  
Anonymous Blurber said...

Yet another view of the effect of the atomic bomb, the claim that the military threat of the Soviet Union was a bigger influence in causing Japan to surrender than the bomb.

"Historians rethink key Soviet role in Japan defeat."


15 August, 2010 09:27  

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