With all the historical information available to everyone, such as Japan was trying to surrender but were being ignored, it is difficult to justify the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, yet some still try to claim it was war, it was necessary, and there is no need to apologize. Unfortunately, this blogsite tries to present both points of view on many topics, and sometimes there are more than two views to consider, however, in this case, I apologize for the ignorant point of view some writers take when they try to justify the killing of innocent civilians instead of condemning the American government for dropping two atomic bombs to make a polical statement. Truman may have given the order but the question to ask is who ordered him to bomb Japan and why?*******
The Hiroshima Question
Iranian Bomb: All the sad and painful lessons of Hiroshima will have been lost
By Bruce Walker
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Some Japanese are now saying that attending without a formal apology (which Obama will not give) is inadequate. There is no reason for America to apologize at all for Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
War is Hell, and the Second World War was a particularly grisly reminder of that grim fact. Some governments began wars. Stalin conspired with Hitler to begin the war in Europe and both warred on weak neighbors before the Fall of France. Mussolini gratuitously entered the war after France fell. Japan invaded Manchuria and then the rest of China long before Pearl Harbor. These aggressors are primarily responsible for the horrors that followed. Other nations like Britain, France, and America, went to extraordinary lengths to prevent war.
Some nations waged war with sadism which defies sane contemplation. The Holocaust, of course, is well known – although its true dimensions cannot be grasped. The Soviets not only continued to send its subjects to the Gulag while the war went on, but as the Red Army entered Europe its soldiers engaged in an orgy of rapine and mayhem which has few equals in human history. Japan at Nanking in 1938 may have committed the worst single incident of crimes against humanity in history. Beyond that, the Japanese treatment of captured Allied soldiers was much worse than the treatment meted out by the Nazis. America did not treat Japanese POWs the way Japan treated American POWs. Our nation did not vivisect captured Japanese under the pretext of medical research. After the war, some Japanese were tried for crimes against humanity, but like at Nuremberg, these were not kangaroo courts but actual trials.
Waging aggressive wars of conquest with incredible brutality is fundamentally different than resisting conquerors with every weapon available. Japan, like Germany and Russia, were ruthless totalitarian nations who murdered many millions of innocent people in wars which were not necessary for self-defense or any reason beyond conquest and domination. America fought back with every weapon and every strategy which would bring the war to a quick and victorious end, which was the only proper moral course.
If America had developed a fission bomb in 1943, rather than 1945, should we have used that weapon on Berlin? Half of those murdered in the Holocaust died in the last year. Those victims, along with all the soldiers on all the bloody fronts – and all the Germans who died in our strategic bombing campaign – would have been spared more death and misery.
Can anyone seriously argue that fighting the Nazis with conventional weapons would have been, somehow, morally superior to using an atomic bomb to quickly end the war? Was that better than allowing more victims of Nazism to suffer, more soldiers on all sides to be killed or injured, and more German cities to be bombed into rubble?
Does Hiroshima represent the ghastliness of atomic, and then nuclear, weapons? Yes, but that very ghastliness has prevented another world war for sixty-five years. The real lesson of the Second World War, the real lesson of Hiroshima, is this: the good guys, those who hate war and who love liberty, cannot afford to wait before building the awful engines of war. Time and space are too compressed in our world to allow conquering aggressors a season of triumph.
Was it better for America to build and use fission bombs before Japan or Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia could? Yes. There is a very real, very present, and very pointed example of the lessons of Hiroshima in our world today: the Iranian Bomb, which will be built unless we act. Those who hate, those who lust for the murder of others, cannot have the upper hand in war. When that happens – when Tehran feels that it can safely threaten or incinerate its chosen victims – then all the sad and painful lessons of Hiroshima will have been lost.*******
The Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima
(August 6, 1945)
Events: Dawn of the Atomic Era, 1945
People farther from the point of detonation experienced first the flash and heat, followed seconds later by a deafening boom and the blast wave. Nearly every structure within one mile of ground zero was destroyed, and almost every building within three miles was damaged. Less than 10 percent of the buildings in the city survived without any damage, and the blast wave shattered glass in suburbs twelve miles away. The most common first reaction of those that were indoors even miles from ground zero was that their building had just suffered a direct hit by a bomb. Small ad hoc rescue parties soon began to operate, but roughly half of the city's population was dead or injured. In those areas most seriously affected virtually no one escaped serious injury. The numerous small fires that erupted simultaneously all around the city soon merged into one large firestorm, creating extremely strong winds that blew towards the center of the fire. The firestorm eventually engulfed 4.4 square miles of the city, killing anyone who had not escaped in the first minutes after the attack. One postwar study of the victims of Hiroshima found that less than 4.5 percent of survivors suffered leg fractures. Such injuries were not uncommon; it was just that most who could not walk were engulfed by the firestorm.
Even after the flames had subsided, relief from the outside was slow in coming. For hours after the attack the Japanese government did not even know for sure what had happened. Radio and telegraph communications with Hiroshima had suddenly ended at 8:16 a.m., and vague reports of some sort of large explosion had begun to filter in, but the Japanese high command knew that no large-scale air raid had taken place over the city and that there were no large stores of explosives there. Eventually a Japanese staff officer was dispatched by plane to survey the city from overhead, and while he was still nearly 100 miles away from the city he began to report on a huge cloud of smoke that hung over it.
No one will ever know for certain how many died as a result of the attack on Hiroshima. Some 70,000 people probably died as a result of initial blast, heat, and radiation effects. This included about twenty American airmen being held as prisoners in the city. By the end of 1945, because of the lingering effects of radioactive fallout and other after effects, the Hiroshima death toll was probably over 100,000. The five-year death total may have reached or even exceeded 200,000, as cancer and other long-term effects took hold.
The Atomic Bomb 1945http://www.worldwar2database.com/html/atombomb.htm
In 1942, The first atomic pile, a sustained controllable nuclear chain reaction, came online in Chicago. Scientist and inventor Enrico Fermi remarked, "This will be remembered as the darkest day in history," referring to both the atomic pile and that day's announcement of Nazi death camps operating in occupied Europe. Actually, most people have no knowledge of that day; they remember the ultimate achievement that began on that date - the atomic bomb.
But raids on the German uranium and heavy water production facilities showed they were far behind the American efforts. A comprehensive facility, secretly built in Los Alamos, was administrated by US Army General Leslie Groves and managed by civilian scientist Robert Oppenheimer. By 1944, they were developing an atomic weapon that would deliver a knockout blow to Nazi Germany.
But as the spring of 1945 ended, and the bomb moved from theory to reality, the scientists began to question whether it was necessary to develop a weapon. When the bomb was ready for testing in July 1945, a group of scientists, led by Leo Silzard, questioned if dropping the bomb was needed at all.
But the decision was already being made in favor of dropping the weapon on Japan. It was prepared for the B-29, a plane only operating in the Pacific Theatre of Operations. In Utah, The 504th composite group began practicing on dropping one bomb from a high altitude and turning around quickly. The pilots were sworn to secrecy without even knowing what the secret was.
On July 14, 1945, the bomb was detonated in a test in New Mexico. The scientists had no idea of how much explosive power the bomb would have; ideas ran from a dud to setting the atmosphere on fire. Edward Teller, after the war the father of American nuclear doctrine, had the highest guess: 1,000,000 tons of TNT. The bomb had the power of 20,000 tons of TNT. A cover story was that a munitions depot exploded. A blind woman claimed to see the atomic light from miles away; unfortunately, that was the last time anyone connected with nuclear weapons saw the light through blind eyes.
At 8:15 AM, the line from Hiroshima to Tokyo went dead. Reports started coming in that Hiroshima had been obliterated by air attack. Reports of the dead ranged from 75,000 to 180,000 dead; due to radiation, people would be dying for decades from cancer and birth defects.
Controversy reigns about the use of the Hiroshima bomb. Some have argued that the naval blockade would have starved Japan into submission; others have argued that without the bomb, the millions of casualties expected with the invasion of the home islands would have become a reality. The source for that estimate has never been found.
What is certain is that Japan was preparing the bloodiest reception ever for the Allies if they had invaded Honshu, the southernmost island in Japan. Truman would never have been able to hold office if he had a working weapon and choose not to use it. Also, the Alliance between the Western powers and the Soviets was growing tenuous after the fall of Germany; Truman, an unknown quantity to the Soviets, had to show he was unafraid to use a weapon of mass destruction, especially one that only the United States possessed at that time.
What is not certain is the extent that the Japanese could have responded to the Allied unconditional surrender calls of August 6 and 7, 1945. The damage by conventional bombing to the transportation and communication network prevented the Japanese government from fully understanding what had happened in Hiroshima.
So the government did nothing, and on August 9, 1945, the B-29 "Bock's Car" dropped the “Fat Man” Plutonium bomb on Nagasaki, the tertiary target. This time the bomb was dropped slightly off target, which minimized the effects, the blast stopped by hills near Nagasaki. 70,000 people were killed, but again the aftereffects caused by radiation continued to kill for decades.
On August 15, 1945, the Emperor announced the surrender. The Second World War was over.
In the 1950’s the United States flew several Japanese women to have plastic surgery for their scars caused during the bombing. Ignored in this public relations tour was that thousands of Japanese carried radioactive scars that would be passed on to their children and would trouble them to this day.
Why World War II ended with Mushroom Clouds
65 years ago, August 6 and 9, 1945: Hiroshima and Nagasaki
By Jacques R. Pauwels
URL of this article: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=20478
Global Research, August 6, 2010
“On August 9, 1945, Nagasaki was the target of the world's second atomic bomb attack at 11:02 a.m., when the north of the city was destroyed and an estimated 40,000 people were killed by the bomb nicknamed ‘Fat Man.’ The death toll from the atomic bombing totalled 73,884, as well as another 74,909 injured, and another several hundred thousand diseased and dying due to fallout and other illness caused by radiation.”
In the European Theatre, World War II ended in early May 1945 with the capitulation of Nazi Germany. The “Big Three” on the side of the victors – Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union – now faced the complex problem of the postwar reorganization of Europe. The United States had entered the war rather late, in December 1941, and had only started to make a truly significant military contribution to the Allied victory over Germany with the landings in Normandy in June 1944, less than one year before the end of the hostilities. When the war against Germany ended, however, Washington sat firmly and confidently at the table of the victors, determined to achieve what might be called its “war aims.”
As the country that had made the biggest contribution and suffered by far the greatest losses in the conflict against the common Nazi enemy, the Soviet Union wanted major reparation payments from Germany and security against potential future aggression, in the form of the installation in Germany, Poland and other Eastern European countries of governments that would not be hostile to the Soviets, as had been the case before the war. Moscow also expected compensation for territorial losses suffered by the Soviet Union at the time of the Revolution and the Civil War, and finally, the Soviets expected that, with the terrible ordeal of the war behind them, they would be able to resume work on the project of constructing a socialist society. The American and British leaders knew these Soviet aims and had explicitly or implicitly recognized their legitimacy, for example at the conferences of the Big Three in Tehran and Yalta. That did not mean that Washington and London were enthusiastic about the fact that the Soviet Union was to reap these rewards for its war efforts; and there undoubtedly lurked a potential conflict with Washington’s own major objective, namely, the creation of an “open door” for US exports and investments in Western Europe, in defeated Germany, and also in Central and Eastern Europe, liberated by the Soviet Union. In any event, American political and industrial leaders - including Harry Truman, who succeeded Franklin D. Roosevelt as President in the spring of 1945 - had little understanding, and even less sympathy, for even the most basic expectations of the Soviets. These leaders abhorred the thought that the Soviet Union might receive considerable reparations from Germany, because such a bloodletting would eliminate Germany as a potentially extremely profitable market for US exports and investments. Instead, reparations would enable the Soviets to resume work, possibly successfully, on the project of a communist society, a “counter system” to the international capitalist system of which the USA had become the great champion. America’s political and economic elite was undoubtedly also keenly aware that German reparations to the Soviets implied that the German branch plants of US corporations such as Ford and GM, which had produced all sorts of weapons for the Nazis during the war (and made a lot of money in the process) would have to produce for the benefit of the Soviets instead of continuing to enrich US owners and shareholders.
Negotiations among the Big Three would obviously never result in the withdrawal of the Red Army from Germany and Eastern Europe before the Soviet objectives of reparations and security would be at least partly achieved. However, on April 25, 1945, Truman learned that the US would soon dispose of a powerful new weapon, the atom bomb. Possession of this weapon opened up all sorts of previously unthinkable but extremely favorable perspectives, and it is hardly surprising that the new president and his advisors fell under the spell of what the renowned American historian William Appleman Williams has called a “vision of omnipotence.” It certainly no longer appeared necessary to engage in difficult negotiations with the Soviets: thanks to the atom bomb, it would be possible to force Stalin, in spite of earlier agreements, to withdraw the Red Army from Germany and to deny him a say in the postwar affairs of that country, to install “pro-western” and even anti-Soviet regimes in Poland and elsewhere in Eastern Europe, and perhaps even to open up the Soviet Union itself to American investment capital as well as American political and economic influence, thus returning this communist heretic to the bosom of the universal capitalist church.
At the time of the German surrender in May 1945, the bomb was almost, but not quite, ready. Truman therefore stalled as long as possible before finally agreeing to attend a conference of the Big Three in Potsdam in the summer of 1945, where the fate of postwar Europe would be decided. The president had been informed that the bomb would likely be ready by then - ready, that is, to be used as “a hammer,” as he himself stated on one occasion, that he would wave “over the heads of those boys in the Kremlin.”
In the meantime the Japanese battled on in the Far East, even though their situation was totally hopeless. They were in fact prepared to surrender, but they insisted on a condition, namely, that Emperor Hirohito would be guaranteed immunity. This contravened the American demand for an unconditional capitulation. In spite of this it should have been possible to end the war on the basis of the Japanese proposal. In fact, the German surrender at Reims three months earlier had not been entirely unconditional. (The Americans had agreed to a German condition, namely, that the armistice would only go into effect after a delay of 45 hours, a delay that would allow as many German army units as possible to slip away from the eastern front in order to surrender to the Americans or the British; many of these units would actually be kept ready - in uniform, armed, and under the command of their own officers – for possible use against the Red Army, as Churchill was to admit after the war.) In any event, Tokyo’s sole condition was far from essential. Indeed, later - after an unconditional surrender had been wrested from the Japanese - the Americans would never bother Hirohito, and it was thanks to Washington that he was to be able to remain emperor for many more decades.
In order to finish the war against Japan, Truman thus had a number of very attractive options. He could accept the trivial Japanese condition with regard to immunity for their emperor; he could also wait until the Red Army attacked the Japanese in China, thus forcing Tokyo into accepting an unconditional surrender after all; or he could starve Japan to death by means of a naval blockade that would have forced Tokyo to sue for peace sooner or later. Truman and his advisors, however, chose none of these options; instead, they decided to knock Japan out with the atomic bomb. This fateful decision, which was to cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, mostly women and children, offered the Americans considerable advantages. First, the bomb might force Tokyo to surrender before the Soviets got involved in the war in Asia, thus making it unnecessary to allow Moscow a say in the coming decisions about postwar Japan, about the territories which had been occupied by Japan (such as Korea and Manchuria), and about the Far East and the Pacific region in general. The USA would then enjoy a total hegemony over that part of the world, something which may be said to have been the true (though unspoken) war aim of Washington in the conflict with Japan. It was in light of this consideration that the strategy of simply blockading Japan into surrender was rejected, since the surrender might not have been forthcoming until after – and possibly well after - the Soviet Union’s entry into the war. (After the war, the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey stated that “certainly prior to 31 December 1945, Japan would have surrendered, even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped.”)
As far as the American leaders were concerned, a Soviet intervention in the war in the Far East threatened to achieve for the Soviets the same advantage which the Yankees’ relatively late intervention in the war in Europe had produced for the United States, namely, a place at the round table of the victors who would force their will on the defeated enemy, carve occupation zones out of his territory, change borders, determine postwar social-economic and political structures, and thereby derive for themselves enormous benefits and prestige. Washington absolutely did not want the Soviet Union to enjoy this kind of input. The Americans were on the brink of victory over Japan, their great rival in that part of the world. They did not relish the idea of being saddled with a new potential rival, one whose detested communist ideology might become dangerously influential in many Asian countries. By dropping the atomic bomb, the Americans hoped to finish Japan off instantly and go to work in the Far East as cavalier seul, that is, without their victory party being spoiled by unwanted Soviet gate-crashers. Use of the atom bomb offered Washington a second important advantage. Truman’s experience in Potsdam had persuaded him that only an actual demonstration of this new weapon would make Stalin sufficiently pliable. Nuking a “Jap” city, preferably a “virgin” city, where the damage would be especially impressive, thus loomed useful as a means to intimidate the Soviets and induce them to make concessions with respect to Germany, Poland, and the rest of Central and Eastern Europe.
The atomic bomb was ready just before the Soviets became involved in the Far East. Even so, the nuclear pulverization of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, came too late to prevent the Soviets from entering the war against Japan. Tokyo did not throw in the towel immediately, as the Americans had hoped, and on August 8, 1945 - exactly three months after the German capitulation in Berlin - the Soviets declared war on Japan. The next day, on August 9, the Red Army attacked the Japanese troops stationed in northern China. Washington itself had long asked for Soviet intervention, but when that intervention finally came, Truman and his advisors were far from ecstatic about the fact that Stalin had kept his word. If Japan’s rulers did not respond immediately to the bombing of Hiroshima with an unconditional capitulation, it may have been because they could not ascertain immediately that only one plane and one bomb had done so much damage. (Many conventional bombing raids had produced equally catastrophic results; an attack by thousands of bombers on the Japanese capital on March 9-10, 1945, for example, had actually caused more casualties than the bombing of Hiroshima.) In any event, it took some time before an unconditional capitulation was forthcoming, and on account of this delay the USSR did get involved in the war against Japan after all. This made Washington extremely impatient: the day after the Soviet declaration of war, on August 9, 1945, a second bomb was dropped, this time on the city of Nagasaki. A former American army chaplain later stated: “I am of the opinion that this was one of the reasons why a second bomb was dropped: because there was a rush. They wanted to get the Japanese to capitulate before the Russians showed up.” (The chaplain may or may not have been aware that among the 75,000 human beings who were “instantaneously incinerated, carbonized and evaporated” in Nagasaki were many Japanese Catholics as well an unknown number of inmates of a camp for allied POWs, whose presence had been reported to the air command, to no avail.) It took another five days, that is, until August 14, before the Japanese could bring themselves to capitulate. In the meantime the Red Army was able to make considerable progress, to the great chagrin of Truman and his advisors.
And so the Americans were stuck with a Soviet partner in the Far East after all. Or were they? Truman made sure that they were not, ignoring the precedents set earlier with respect to cooperation among the Big Three in Europe. Already on August 15, 1945, Washington rejected Stalin’s request for a Soviet occupation zone in the defeated land of the rising sun. And when on September 2, 1945, General MacArthur officially accepted the Japanese surrender on the American battleship Missouri in the Bay of Tokyo, representatives of the Soviet Union - and of other allies in the Far East, such as Great Britain, France, Australia, and the Netherlands - were allowed to be present only as insignificant extras, as spectators. Unlike Germany, Japan was not carved up into occupation zones. America’s defeated rival was to be occupied by the Americans only, and as American “viceroy” in Tokyo, General MacArthur would ensure that, regardless of contributions made to the common victory, no other power had a say in the affairs of postwar Japan.
Sixty-five years ago, Truman did not have to use the atomic bomb in order to force Japan to its knees, but he had reasons to want to use the bomb. The atom bomb enabled the Americans to force Tokyo to surrender unconditionally, to keep the Soviets out of the Far East and - last but not least - to force Washington’s will on the Kremlin in Europe also. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were obliterated for these reasons, and many American historians realize this only too well; Sean Dennis Cashman, for example, writes:
With the passing of time, many historians have concluded that the bomb was used as much for political reasons...Vannevar Bush [the head of the American center for scientific research] stated that the bomb “was also delivered on time, so that there was no necessity for any concessions to Russia at the end of the war”. Secretary of State James F. Byrnes [Truman’s Secretary of State] never denied a statement attributed to him that the bomb had been used to demonstrate American power to the Soviet Union in order to make it more manageable in Europe.
Truman himself, however, hypocritically declared at the time that the purpose of the two nuclear bombardments had been “to bring the boys home,” that is, to quickly finish the war without any further major loss of life on the American side. This explanation was uncritically broadcast in the American media and it developed into a myth eagerly propagated by the majority of historians and media in the USA and throughout the “Western” world. That myth, which, incidentally, also serves to justify potential future nuclear strikes on targets such as Iran and North Korea, is still very much alive - just check your mainstream newspaper on August 6 and 9!
Jacques R. Pauwels, author of The Myth of the Good War: America in the Second World War, James Lorimer, Toronto, 2002
 Jacques R. Pauwels, The Myth of the Good War: America in the Second World War, Toronto, 2002, pp. 201-05.
 William Appleman Williams, The Tragedy of American Diplomacy, revised edition, New York, 1962, p. 250.
 Quoted in Michael Parenti, The Anti-Communist Impulse, New York, 1969, p. 126.
 Gar Alperovitz Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam. The Use of the Atomic Bomb and the American Confrontation with Soviet Power, new edition, Harmondsworth, Middlesex, 1985 (original edition 1965), p. 223.
 Pauwels, op. cit., p. 143.
 Alperovitz, op. cit., pp. 28, 156.
 Quoted in Alperovitz, op. cit., p. 24.
 Cited in David Horowitz, From Yalta to Vietnam: American Foreign Policy in the Cold War, Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England, 1967, p. 53.
 Studs Terkel, "The Good War": An Oral History of World War Two, New York, 1984, p. 535.
 Gary G. Kohls, “Whitewashing Hiroshima: The Uncritical Glorification of American Militarism,” http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig5/kohls1.html.
 Sean Dennis Cashman, , Roosevelt, and World War II, New York and London, 1989, p. 369.