So on the upcoming anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, we're going to be treated to another round of anti-Americanism and knee-jerk support of the "innocent" Japanese civilians who were "wrongly" bombed by imperialist Cold Warriors whose true goal was to make a show for the Soviets blah blah blah.
This view is supported in this AFP piece via Yahoo News, a story about yet another memorial to be built and dedicated in Hiroshima. A few classic quotes are in order.
The privately funded monument was dedicated by Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba, who came up with the idea of 10 gates symbolizing Dante's nine circles of Hell plus one more: Hiroshima.
"After the world commemorated the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps, I found it impossible to do nothing to pay tribute to Hiroshima's dead and remind people what barbarism men are capable of," Halter said.
Then we turn to the Guardian, bastion of conservative political thought and militarism. Interestingly enough, they have a somewhat different view.
Plentiful evidence is available to both schools. In the spring of 1945, Americans fighting in the Pacific were awed by the suicidal resistance they encountered. Hundreds of Japanese pilots, thousands of soldiers and civilians, immolated themselves, inflicting heavy US losses, rather than accept the logic of surrender.
It was well-known that the Japanese forces were preparing a similar sacrificial defence of their homeland. Allied planning for an invasion in the autumn of 1945 assumed hundreds of thousands of casualties. Allied soldiers - and prisoners - in the far east were profoundly grateful when the atomic bombs, in their eyes, saved their lives.
Yes, let's not forget the millions of Chinese civilians, the numbers of whose deaths make Hitler's mass exterminations seem trivial. Let's not forget the kamikazes, suicide bombers that they were. Let's not forget the Bataan Death March, the bayonettings and sport beheadings, the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. Let's remember who the enemy was, and the depravity they were capable of.
Japan's occupation of China had cost 15 million Chinese lives. Civilians had been raped, tortured, enslaved and massacred, while British and US prisoners were subjected to hideous maltreatment. The Japanese had been waging biological warfare in China. Their notorious Unit 731 subjected hundreds of prisoners to vivisection. Many captured American airmen were beheaded. Some were eaten. A B-29 crew was dissected alive at a Japanese city hospital.
Americans, in their turn, showed themselves reluctant to take prisoners. They subjected Japan's cities to the vast fire-bombing raids which began in March 1945, killing half a million people. Lawrence Freedman and Saki Dockrill, in a powerful analysis, argue that the nuclear assault must be perceived in the context of the deadly incendiary raids that preceded it: "Nobody involved in the decision on the atomic bombs could have seen themselves as setting new precedents for mass destruction in scale - only in efficiency." More people - 100,000 - died in the March 9 Tokyo incendiary attack than at Hiroshima.
This next quote struck home with me.
In August 1945, amid a world sick of death in the cause of defeating evil, allied lives seemed very precious, while the enemy appeared to value neither his own nor those of the innocent. Truman's Hiroshima judgment may seem wrong in the eyes of posterity, but it is easy to understand why it seemed right to most of his contemporaries. (emphasis mine--Darren)
Dropping the atomic bomb killed people and did damage, no doubt about it. Was it justified? I don't see how a reasonable or dispassionate person could, given applicable facts, argue that it was not.
And it's high time it was taught this way rather than pushing some multi-culti, moral relativism crap that ignores context and the times and seems intent on casting aspersions on America's use of a weapon that effectively ended a war that cost the lives of at least 8 digits' worth of people, well on the way to 9 digits' worth.