August 6th and August 9th mark the 68th anniversary of two events that altered the course of human history. I’m referring to the bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima (August 6th) and Nagasaki (August 9th) using atomic weapons in 1945. As single events, these bombings were devastating to those on which they were used and caused catastrophic destruction and death. But taken in the context of the larger view of World War II, they were simply a fine point on the end of a long and bloody sword of war.
While horrific and sad, these bombings were a necessary means to accomplish an end to a vast and insufferable war. However, in today’s politically correct climate, there are those that view America more along the lines of war criminals and international outlaws for using atomic weapons on its wartime foe, the Empire of Japan. These people insist that as a nation, we were so bloodthirsty that we just rushed forward in a blind rage seeking to destroy as many innocents as possible and to inflict as much pain as possible on the people of Japan. These same people make feeble arguments that we didn’t have to drop the atomic weapons on these peaceful Japanese cities, chock full of innocent civilians. We were winning the war anyway. Why couldn’t we just show the Japanese leadership a demonstration of the weapons’ capability? Surely that would simply scare them into surrender.
Instead of me refuting the claims and second guessing by hand wringing liberals on why it was necessary to do what was done, I will let the incomparable Bill Whittle explain it. Below is one of the best episodes of his series Afterburner that he ever produced. First shown in 2009, this video does an amazing job of putting the excruciating decision to use these devastating weapons into the proper context. For those critics of this part of America’s history, this will be an education.
*NOTE* According to Online Military History.org, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki don’t even break into the top 10 bombing episodes of World War II in terms of casualties and destruction.