That Big Bang

I could go into a review of some TV show…..but not this time.  (But it is a cute and entertaining program)

I am a member of a discussion group, the Psi Phi Society, not to be confused with SciFi, we discuss everything from Anthropology to Xenophobia.  It is a group made up of about 6 people a couple of professors. a preacher, a business man, a teacher and a computer geek.

When we first started one of the first discussions we had was about WW2 and the bomb.  The question for the group was…..was the use of the A-bomb on Japan really necessary?

I came down on the side of “not necessary”…..in my opinion Japan had already lost the war and their leadership knew it.  Starvation was rampant, they were eating dogs and cats, morale was at an all time low and fear of an aerial attack was a daily worry.  I firmly believe that if we had not used the bomb it would have been less than a year before Japan had surrendered.

We never came to a definitive answer to the question.  Good arguments were made on both sides but I still stand by my assertion that they were unnecessary.

Then I read an interesting article that tackles the same question that the Society tackled a couple of years ago.

Last Sunday marked the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, followed three days later by the bombing of Nagasaki.

Residents of former Allied countries all generally agree on what happened next: An awed Japan surrendered and the world was spared the devastating human cost of a land invasion of the Japanese home islands. A particularly chilling fact is that United States has yet to use up the vast supply of Purple Hearts minted in anticipation of a bloody landing.

Arguments against the bombings usually take a moral tack. That whatever the ends, it’s never right to intentionally vaporize women and children. But in recent years an entire new argument has emerged: Bomb or no bomb, the war would have ended anyway.

Source: Did the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki really end the war? | National Post

Now that the case was been made….what say you?

Was the use of the bomb truly necessary to end World War 2?  Or was it a message sent to the rest of the world?

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16 thoughts on “That Big Bang

      1. How long…they were possibly the most tenacious and barbarous of enemies. They had no qualms regarding torture and their treatment of prisoner’s of war was horrendous.

  1. I have an unusually hawkish view on this issue, which might surprise you.

    I did read the article, which is correct about the Russians entering the war against Japan with great success, and no doubt hoping to gain territory as a result. I have heard it argued that the bombs were dropped to frighten the Russians, as much to terrify the Japanese into surrender. That might well be true.

    My view about the Japanese in WW2 is clouded by many things. For one, I have read a lot about their inhuman actions during their invasion of China, and other countries. For another, my uncle was a POW, captured during the fighting in Burma. He received awful treatment at the hands of the Japanese. He also witnessed casual murder, mutilation, and torture of his friends. When he was freed in 1945, he came home mentally scarred, and it ruined his later life. Other men I knew as a child spoke of appalling things they had witnessed, and sworn they would never forgive the Japanese.

    I would have used the atomic bombs. I would have used them all, including wiping out Tokyo, and every major city and town in that awful country. I would have eradicated it from the map, and left nobody alive to cry ‘Banzai’ ever again. Of course, there were not enough bombs at the time. So, I would have waited until I had some more, watched and waited as the Japanese ate those rats, and then bombed them into extinction.

    As I said, unusually hawkish, at least for me.

    A land invasion of Japan would have been unthinkable. The country is made up of 6,852 islands, and you can bet every single one of them would have been defended to the last man, woman, and child. Even if they were snacking on rats, and living in holes, armed only with sharpened stakes, I have never believed they would really surrender. If the government had surrendered before the bombs were dropped, it seems likely that the majority would have gone on fighting. I have no doubt that the war in Japan would have dragged on until the mid-1950s, with tens of thousands more allied deaths. If I had my way, people in 2017 would be asking, “What was Japan?”

    And in case you were wondering, I would have advocated much the same fate for Germany. But because of its geographical location, it could not have been done. It has never sat well with me that the two most aggressive nations in modern times, countries who waged war with unspeakable barbarity, have both endured to become the leading economic powers in their respective regions. The lesson seems to be that barbarity and mass-murder pays, in the long run.

    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. Your recounting of your uncle, the POW, reminded me of the film The Railway Man. I have to think you saw it. It’s supposed to be a true story. Not sure I would have been so forgiving.. but he did confront his demons.

  3. Reblogged this on In Saner Thought and commented:

    I will be re-blogging my GSFP posts here on IST…there are a few readers that have not found the amazing site Gulf South Free Press just yet….so want to keep them abreast of the op-eds until they make the transition. Peace Out…..chuq

  4. I think, for me, the best response is the following pearl, which I have yet to find attribution, to wit: “There are any number of good reasons to live; there are even some good reasons to die. But, there is no good reason at all to kill.”

    Having said that, I can only wonder how otherwise normal, compassionate human beings can rationalize ANY of their given reasons to kill. After all, as Camus once said, “Integrity needs no rules.”

    No matter how many “justifiable” reasons one may utter, in my mind, any war waged is wrong, and need never have happened at all, if humans were less able to deny reality, and their own nature.

    gigoid, the dubious

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