Thursday, April 30, 2009

Oh, Jon. Say It Ain't So!

I'm a huge fan of Jon Stewart. But Harry S Truman is not a war criminal because he dropped the atomic bomb on Japan, and I cannot believe Jon Stewart thinks so. Stewart stated during a debate on torture the other night that he thought Truman's conduct would have only been acceptable had he set off an atomic bomb 15 miles off of Japan's coast as a fair warning.

I'm sorry, but I do not think we owed it to anyone to showcase our arsenal and let them take defensive measures first. Did the Japanese do that at Pearl Harbor? Also, the first atomic bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945. Japan could have surrendered immediately, but it didn't. This is why we dropped the second one on August 9, 1945. It took another six days before Japan surrendered. I have not seen anything yet to suggest that Japan knew we would not hit them again, and yet, they did not surrender for another six days. So, in other words, a warning wouldn't have worked, but it might have hurt our war effort.

The called World War II, the "good" war because it was against a clearly evil enemy, the Nazis, and Japan sided with them. War is not pretty, but we had a just cause, and we ended it early and avoided more American deaths, which (call me crazy) is one of the goals of war, as I see it. It's terrible that so many Japanese civilians died, but we're not talking about a hand grenade. Civilians were going to die no matter where the first bomb went off.

I know one bad act doesn't justify another, but I can't shake that Japan made it's own bed on December 7, 1941, and it stayed in that bed for four years, though it could have gotten out any time prior to August 6, 1945.



stAllio! said...

defending the hiroshima attack is one thing, but nagasaki too?

whatever helps you get to sleep at night, i guess.

iPOPA said...

I'm sure you didn't know that more civilians died in our Tokyo fire-bombing campaign than at Nagasacki. The only difference between these two "aerial assaults" is that in the former, more Americans died.

You might not know that Japan had its own nuclear program. It might not have been able to make a lot of bombs because of uranimum scarcity, and it might have not been successful in getting a bomb onto U.S. soil because of delivery limitations. But I'm glad Truman made sure they didn't have a chance.

Look, all death is tragic. But if my choices in a war against a facist enemy and its cohorts are them or us, I'll take them every time. You have the luruxy of hindsight. President Truman didn't.

J. Hagedorn said...

There's absolutely no debate here. Both of the Atomic Bombs dropped on Japan in August of 1945 saved American lives. And in the end, they saved Japanese lives.

The simple fact is that the Japanese were not going to otherwise surrender. They were going to fight to the very last person because their Emperor was a fanatic, and their code of honor didn't allow surrender. Therefore they'd have sacrificed every single man, woman and child on their islands, and they would have taken as many of us with them as possible along the way.

The first bomb got their attention. The second one convinced them that we could go ahead and kill everybody without sacrificing our own soldiers if we wanted to do so.

Jon Stewart is an entertainer. Usually he is also right on policy issues, but let's not get too upset about the fact that an ACTOR is wrong on an issue. Hell, Ronald Reagan was wrong for almost eight straight years....

Paul K. Ogden said...

Actually Truman did warn Japan. They just didn't believe him. And why should they have. The word had never seen anything like that.

D. Rodgers said...

To open the show Thursday night, Stewart apologized I think sincerely for his comment, calling it a really stupid thing to say.