T Nation

Hiroshima Anniversary


#1

Interesting. Thoughts?

Sixty-four years after Hiroshima, opinion of the bombings is mixed

Around the world today, people are commemorating the 64th anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb in Hiroshima, Japan.

The legacy of that act, which is credited with bringing about a swift end to World War II, is still unsettled: The nuclear explosions in Hiroshima and, three days later, in Nagasaki left a many as 220,000 Japanese dead, but by ending the war (Japan surrendered soon after), they may have spared more casualties.

Quinnipiac University recently asked more than 2,400 registered voters, "Do you think the United States did the right thing or the wrong thing by dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?"

Sixty-one percent of those polled said they believed the bomb was the right thing. Twenty-two percent called it wrong. Sixteen percent were undecided.

But here's where it gets interesting.

The poll's findings suggest that Americans' opinion of the bombing depends on their age, gender, ethnicity and political groundings.

Seventy-three percent of voters older than 55 approved of the decision, and only 50% of voters ages 18 to 34 approved. Seventy-four percent of Republicans said the bombings were a good idea, and 49% of Democrats said so. Seventy-two percent of men approved and 51% of women agreed.

The poll found that only 34% of black voters and 44% of Latino voters supported the bombs, although pollsters cautioned that those numbers may not be representative because the polling sample was smaller for those groups.


#2

I have mixed feelings. It’s hard to call anything that killed so many people “right”.


#3

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
I have mixed feelings. It’s hard to call anything that killed so many people “right”. [/quote]

It’s easy to call it necessary though, which i think it was.


#4

I think it’s important to point out that even though I donâ??t know that I 100% agree with the action(s), I blame the Japanese government, not the US. The US can certainly make the case that they saved lives. The Emperor dragging out the war they had obviously lost, then waiting until 2 bombs had been dropped on his people has 0 excuses. I donâ??t think there really was a right answer for the American people, the only right solution could have come from the other side.


#5

it was war, we where fighting fanatics, who used suicide bombers, who committed atrocity after atrocity. the rape of nanking, baton death march to name a few. on that day we spoke to the the japanese in the only language they understood. ask all the people who suffered at their hands, whether it was right. I thank god there are men in our nation, who are willing to do such things to defeat a terrible enemy


#6

it was war, we where fighting fanatics, who used suicide bombers, who committed atrocity after atrocity. the rape of nanking, bataan death march to name a few. on that day we spoke to the the japanese in the only language they understood. ask all the people who suffered at their hands, whether it was right, yes. I thank god there are men in our nation, who are willing to do such things to defeat a terrible enemy


#7

No doubt we did the right thing.
Kill lots of them.
Or…
Kill lots of them and lots of us as well.
Pick one.


#8

Right choice that ultimately saved many lives.

The demographic breakdown of support/non-support isn’t terribly surprising, but disappointing.


#9

The incendiary bombing prior to the atomic bombs actually killed more people. LeMay figured their houses were made mostly of wood and paper, so it worked well. Even then the Japs wouldn’t give up.

The whole rush job with the atomic bomb was to get one going before the Germans or Russians did.

BG


#10

They should poll surviving veterans who were scheduled to be in the invasion force. I’m pretty sure they would vote 100% that it was the right thing.


#11

[quote]hedo wrote:
They should poll surviving veterans who were scheduled to be in the invasion force. I’m pretty sure they would vote 100% that it was the right thing.[/quote]

I worked with a guy who fought at Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima. You are absolutely right about this. An invasion of the home islands of Japan would have undoubtedly killed MANY more people on both sides.


#12

I can only imagine how hard it was to make those two decisions. IMO, it was the “right” decision (if anything so gruesome could be called right).


#13

[quote]HG Thrower wrote:
hedo wrote:
They should poll surviving veterans who were scheduled to be in the invasion force. I’m pretty sure they would vote 100% that it was the right thing.

I worked with a guy who fought at Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima. You are absolutely right about this. An invasion of the home islands of Japan would have undoubtedly killed MANY more people on both sides.[/quote]

I doubt that.

What’s certain, is that it would have killed a higher proportion of people who signed up to kill and be killed than the civilian nightwares caused by nukes.


#14

[quote]beachguy498 wrote:
The incendiary bombing prior to the atomic bombs actually killed more people. LeMay figured their houses were made mostly of wood and paper, so it worked well. Even then the Japs wouldn’t give up.

[/quote]

Yeah. The firebomb attacks on Tokyo alone killed more people. Even at 9,000 feet, the undersides of our bombers were heating up as they flew over. There would be no such thing as “the Japanese” had we kept going that way - they all believed in some sort of Imperial death cult.

Kind of like lixy’s religion.


#15

Atomic bombing hundreds of people is “right”? Come on even if it was a nececity it does not make killing innocent people right thing to do.


#16

And lets not forget who attacked first. That goes a long way in helping me make my decision.


#17

[quote]hatesmiles wrote:
Atomic bombing hundreds of people is “right”? Come on even if it was a nececity it does not make killing innocent people right thing to do.[/quote]

Tell us what you would have done then.


#18

[quote]lixy wrote:

What’s certain, is that it would have killed a higher proportion of people who signed up to kill and be killed than the civilian nightwares caused by nukes.[/quote]

Certain my balls. There would have been a plethora of civilian deaths if we’d had to take that mainland.


#19

[quote]lixy wrote:
HG Thrower wrote:
hedo wrote:
They should poll surviving veterans who were scheduled to be in the invasion force. I’m pretty sure they would vote 100% that it was the right thing.

I worked with a guy who fought at Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima. You are absolutely right about this. An invasion of the home islands of Japan would have undoubtedly killed MANY more people on both sides.

I doubt that.

What’s certain, is that it would have killed a higher proportion of people who signed up to kill and be killed than the civilian nightwares caused by nukes.[/quote]

Absolutely untrue. The civilian deaths and destruction of homes would have been MUCH greater in a full scale invasion. And by your logic, soldiers are somehow less of a person than a civilian?


#20

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
lixy wrote:

What’s certain, is that it would have killed a higher proportion of people who signed up to kill and be killed than the civilian nightwares caused by nukes.

Certain my balls. There would have been a plethora of civilian deaths if we’d had to take that mainland. [/quote]

I didn’t mean that civilians wouldn’t have died. Just that the ratio civilian/military would have been lower.