Bombing Hiroshima may have been inhumane but it certainly wasn't stupid

Recently a letter-writer to a local paper chose to commemorate the anniversaary of the bombing of Hiroshima, an act that he described as inhumane and stupid. I replied:

I agree with Paul Hockey's ideals of peaceful co-operation between peoples. I also agree that the use of nuclear weapons against the Japanese was an act of inhumanity. What Paul conveniently overlooks is that all war is an act of inhumanity.

The use of these weapons was not at all stupid. Perhaps Paul thinks less people (on either side) would have died if the Americans fought street by street up the Japanese mainland into Tokyo as they had to do into Manila. And perhaps Paul had no relatives who were subjected to the Japanese version of humanity during the war. Perhaps he has managed to convince himself the Japanese were a peace-loving race provoked into invading Manchuria, China, the Philippines, Burma…

On what date will he be commemorating the deaths of the millions who died at the hands of the Japanese?

I too am appalled by war and those who would wage it. But it is far too easy to sit here smugly separated by sixty years and thousands of miles and say we would have done any differently. The use of the bomb was a dreadful decision and I admire those who had the courage to make it. May it never be used again.


"Historians and tactical

"Historians and tactical reports from the era estimate that casualty rates could have been anywhere from 1.7 to 4 million on the American side, and 5 to 10 million on the Japanese side. In fact, the U.S. leaders were so close to opting for Downfall that they minted 500,000 Purple Hearts to give to wounded soldiers, a number so large, we’re still working our way through that initial batch today"