Saturday, August 07, 2010

Should we apologize?

The news is full of the astounding fact that the United States is officially sending a representative to the Hiroshima memorial. Liberals love to apologize, for anything they didn't do. They apologize for Slavery, when they held no slaves, and freed no slaves. They apologize for anything and everything that they can, when they didn't do it. But they never apologize for usurping our rights like the 2nd Amendment. For some reason, even when they are later overturned by the court, they continue to do so.

So I was thinking about the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and wondering what we should apologize for. We warned the Japanese that we would accept only unconditional surrender. We warned them that we would fight for total victory. We did not mention the bomb by it's name, and atomic bomb, but we said we would destroy Japan.

Japan was trying to negotiate, where there would be no post war occupation, no changes to the Japanese Government, and we would just have to trust the Japanese to disarm after the war.

History had shown us that this didn't work. Germany after World War I was allowed to self disarm, and all it did was cause a break in conflict lasting about twenty years. The only way we could see any hope that there wasn't another war in twenty more years was to make sure this victory was complete.

Much discussion has been centered around the estimates that an invasion of the Japanese Islands would have resulted in many millions of Japanese dead, and at least One Million American and other allies dead. Now, the Soviets had already lost a million men and women fighting Germany, and Germany had lost more than twice that number fighting the Russians, Americans, and English.

So were we wrong to drop the bomb? I don't think so. Was it horrible? Yes. Was it barbaric? Yes. Was it necessary? Yes. There is no way the American people would ever forgive Japan if we lost a Million troops taking the nation. Long before we got to that number, the order would have gone out in sheer self defense, for an absolute destruction of the Japanese homeland. In other words, killing every man, woman, and child in Japan.

On the day of Pearl Harbor, Admiral Halsey is quoted as saying that before he was done, Japanese would be spoken only in Hell. If the Japanese hadn't surrendered, that would have been the eventual outcome.

The Bomb destroyed many lives, we'll never know how many, but it finally convinced the Japanese rulers that further resistance was futile, and there was no hope of any sort of negotiated peace. Surrender was the only avenue open if they wished to have a Japanese people after the war.

Japan holds a dubious honor, the only people ever to have nuclear weapons used against them. If we hadn't seen the destruction first hand, if we didn't have those pictures showing the devastation we may well have started a World War III with the Soviets a few years later. However, the shock, and horror that was Hiroshima and Nagasaki were undeniable and both Military and Political leaders were forced to admit that that destruction would be the result of a Nuclear exchange.

Imagine for a moment, that we did not drop the bomb on Hiroshima. We would have paper estimates, and scenarios of destruction, but we wouldn't KNOW first hand what it would look like. Generals like McArthur would have considered the Atomic Bomb to be a useful Tactical, that is to say battlefield weapon. Korea almost saw the use of the Atomic bomb on a much larger scale, there were plans both before, and after McArthur that would have seen between thirty and forty bombs dropped on the battlefield. Thankfully, this didn't happen.

By Vietnam, it wasn't even really considered for Tactical Operations, we had become suitably horrified at the destructive power of the bomb. We did not want to start tossing them around like softballs, instead saving them for emergency Tactical, and most importantly Strategic options.

Yet they are still horrible. We know because of pictures like this. We know because we saw first hand what happens, we couldn't pretend it would be just fine and dandy to drop an atomic bomb. In a way, we humans had to learn the hard way. We had to childlike touch the pot of boiling water, to learn what hot is. We had to drop the bomb on humans, to see what true suffering and destruction was.

Am I sorry we dropped the bomb? No. Am I relieved we never again dropped another on people? You bet your butt I am. Am I prepared to drop another if, and only if it is the only way to guarantee victory, or destruction of a vital industry for an enemy? Yes. Am I prepared to Nuke Iran if, and only if, it is the only way to guarantee this repressive, and unstable nation is prevented from possessing such terrible weapons? Yes.

As horrible as the bomb is, there are things that are worse. The absolute annihilation of the Japanese people and culture would have been worse. The bombing of Iran would be bad, but it would be significantly worse to allow Iran to bomb any number of cities including but not limited to Jerusalem, and or any of our cities. If you want to make it a simple choice between you, and me, I choose you. Will I feel remorse? Probably not. You see, I'm comforted by this simple truth. I probably wouldn't feel any better about the situation if I was the one who was dead. Iran is too foolish to be allowed to have the bomb. They are too immature to be allowed to have it. They're like Truman and McArthur during Korea. They threaten everyone with the bomb. You don't do that anymore, because today, those threats carry a lot more weight. Today, people won't tolerate those threats.

Thankfully, the drop the bomb at the slightest whim crowd didn't win in Korea. Otherwise there would be an untold and inestimable number of cities that suffered the same fate as Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Liberals are right, the weapons are horrible. Liberals are wrong, there are worse things than the bomb.

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