Not coincidentially, today is the 64th birthday of atomic warfare.
In an intriguing column today in the Wall Street Journal, Warren Kozak posits that you can tell how an American feels about America by knowing how that same American regards America’s use of nuclear weapons to defeat the Japanese Empire.
Unfortunately, Mr. Kozak describes both types of folks (pro and anti), but reaches no conclusions as to the merits of each belief.
Put ‘Puter firmly in the pro-bombing camp. The Japanese Empire had waged a ruthless and bloody war in the Pacific for over a decade. Japan’s treatment of prisoners and civilians alike was inhuman. See, e.g., Bataan Death March, Rape of Nanking, Korean “comfort women” (sex slaves for Japanese soldiers), Japanese treatment of American POWs generally, etc. As noted in Mr. Kozak’s article, Japan was prepared to fight for every last square inch of its home islands, to the last person. President Truman’s decision to use all means at his disposal, including America’s new nuclear arsenal, to crush the Japanese spirit and force an unconditional surrender saved countless American, Asian and Russian lives. And, America received the added benefit of destroying a nation absolutely hostile to American interests.
Is ‘Puter thrilled about the incineration and lethal irradiation of about 100,000 Hiroshima residents? No. Would ‘Puter, with full advantage of 64 years of hindsight make the same decision President Truman made? You bet. Does ‘Puter think any current administration member would have the brass cojones to make the same decision today? Nope.
Let the outraged commentary begin.