Tuesday, August 09, 2005

U.S. Presidential Aspirants Should Answer if They Would Have Used Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Does the press ask U.S. Presidential aspirants, with the benefit of hindsight if they were President in August 1945, would they order the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan? I think they should be asked and should answer yes.

President Harry Truman’s use of atomic bombs on August 6, 1945 (Hiroshima) and August 9th (Nagasaki) quickened the end of World War II with Japan surrendering August 15, 1946. See
Wall Street Journal August 5, 2005 Editorial "Hiroshima, Nuclear weapons, then and now" "The collective toll from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings is estimated at between 110,000 and 200,000."

Truman use of atom bombs:
 prevented up to a million US casualties
 prevented millions of Japanese deaths
 “The ratio of Japanese to American combat fatalities ran about four to one”

The casualties from taking Japan’s southern island of Okinowa were known and make these estimates plausible.

Five weeks prior to Germany surrendering on May 8, 1945, the Battle of Okinawa commenced with an unopposed landing on April 1, 1945. To control this large southern Japanese island took almost three months with horrific losses. Horrible for the US, worse for Japan.
A few of the numbers:
 107,000 Japanese soldiers killed
 Plus an estimated 100,00 Japanese civilians killed
 10,755 Japanese soldiers surrendered
 1,465 kamikaze flights - 34 US ships sunk
 15,900 US killed, 38,000 US wounded
 763 US aircraft lost

Although it took two bombs and six days after the 2nd atom bomb for Japan to surrender, Truman being decisive and using the force he had available ended the war and saved many American and Japanese lives.

Generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman wanted to shorten the Civil War convinced that they would have to take the fight to the Confederacy to win. If they were not aggressive, and the war would drag on too long, many bad things would occur:
 Confederacy more likely to obtain recognition and aid from foreign countries
 Democratic anti-war sentiments would undermine & perhaps end the war effort
 A greater number of Union and Southern soldiers would be killed and wounded

According to Gen. Sherman the war effort should destroy the resources that allowed the enemy to sustain its warfare.

Currently the United States and its allies are engaged in a War on Terror against Islamofascists. We should want to shorten the war, likely reducing the overall deaths and casualties. If we were to follow Gen. Sherman's advice that the war effort should destroy the resources that allow the enemy to sustain its warfare, what would we do?


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