On August 6, 1945, the world (unfortunately) entered the atomic age. Without warning, a single nuclear bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima killed about 90,000 people instantly and injured many others – who then died from radiation sickness. Three days later, a second atomic strike on the city of Nagasaki killed some 37,000 people and injured another 43,000. Together the two bombs eventually killed an estimated 200,000 Japanese civilians.
“The Library of Congress adds roughly 60 million pages to its holdings each year, a huge cache of information for the public. However, also each year, the U.S. Government classifies nearly ten times that amount – an estimated 560 million pages of documents. For scholars engaged in political, historical, scientific, or any other archival work, the grim reality is that most of their government’s activities are secret.”
Again, the memo unequivocally states that the Japanese were offering to surrender. What is even more eye opening is the fact that the surrender terms were practically identical to what was ultimately accepted by the Americans after the bomb had dropped. The memo (source) stated these terms:
Similarly, Admiral Leahy, Chief of Staff to presidents Roosevelt and Truman, later commented:
“It is my opinion that the use of the barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan… The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons… My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.” (source)
There have also been some disturbing remarks like this one:
On September 9, 1945, Admiral William F. Halsey, commander of the Third Fleet, was publicly quoted extensively as stating that the atomic bomb was used because the scientists had a “toy and they wanted to try it out…” He further stated, “The first atomic bomb was an unnecessary experiment… It was a mistake to ever drop it.”(source)
He said this despite the fact that most prominent scientists were completely against it. The scientists involved with the Manhattan project even wrote to the Secretary of Defense to try and encourage him not to drop the bomb.
So ask yourself, why did they really drop the bomb? A number of theories have been purposed; history.com outlines how it could have been dropped to demonstrate a new weapon of mass destruction to the Soviets. In 2005, new scientist alluded to the same thing, claiming that it was done to kick start the Cold War.
“The conventional wisdom that the atomic bomb saved a million lives is so widespread that… most Americans haven’t paused to ponder something rather striking to anyone seriously concerned with the issue: Not only did most top U.S. military leaders think the bombings were unnecessary and unjustified, many were morally offended by what they regarded as the unnecessary destruction of Japanese cities and what were essentially noncombat populations. Moreover, they spoke about it quite openly and publicly.” Gar Alperovitz, University of Maryland professor of political economy – and former Legislative Director in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and Special Assistant in the Department of State (source)
What’s My Point?
What I am trying to do here is get readers to think. If it was clearly unceccessary to drop the bomb, if it didn’t have to be done, then what is the justification? Despite the fierce opposition from various military and political leaders, and the fact that Japan was ready to surrender, it was still dropped.
War is completely unnecessary, and there are always those who seem to thrive off of creating conflict. 9/11 is a perfect example, a supposed “terrorist” attack used to justify the infiltration of the Middle East.
There are more oddities, like the information suggesting that both sides of the war were funded by the same group. You can read more about that here.
Have we learned from our mistake? The fact that nuclear weapons even exist is a discouraging fact, and I am ashamed to be a part of a race who has developed so many of them. It would be great if we could use our brilliant minds/science to advance ourselves as a civilization, not destroy it.
We need to learn from our history, not accept textbook explanations that paint a false picture of it. That being said, we have come a long way since 1945; it’s clear that the majority of people on this planet prefer to live in a peaceful world, so why are there so many obstacles in place preventing us from doing so?