Tuesday, May 24, 2016

My Uncle Leveled Hiroshima. We're Not Sorry

From James Martin, at USA Today, "My uncle never regretted dropping the atomic bomb because his action brought peace" (via Instapundit):
The Joint Chiefs of Staff estimated as many as 134,556 dead and missing Americans [in the event of a U.S. invasion of the Japanese mainland]. A study for the office of War Secretary Henry Stimson put the figure at 400,000 to 800,000 dead GIs, with Japanese fatalities reckoned between five and 10 million military personnel and civilians. In addition to combat casualties, the more than 27,000 American POWs held by Japan were subject to immediate execution should the United States invade.

The nuclear attack on Hiroshima was terrible. All warfare is. The power unleashed by the splitting of the atom was monumental. But tragic as the bombing of Hiroshima was, it was also necessary. The alternative to Hiroshima would have been one of the bloodiest, if not the bloodiest, slaughter in human history. These facts were not far from my uncle’s mind on August 6, and they were near the surface of his consciousness in all the years after. He knew that his keen eye and steady hands helped spare untold lives on both sides of the conflict.

During the nearly 71 years since Hiroshima, the world has occasionally marched toward the nuclear abyss and wise men decided against the annihilation that attends the use of such weapons. Since then, the United States and other nations have reduced their stockpiles of nuclear warheads. God willing, wise men will continue to prevail if faced with the question of whether to use them.

These are the lessons the president should carry with him to Hiroshima. No apology is necessary for sparing Japan the unspeakable horror of an invasion to end the war. No contrition is needed for an act that preserved hundreds of thousands of lives...