Hiroshima Day, August 6, 1945. And now, 71 years on, what are your thoughts?

By 1944 Japan was losing the War in the Pacific, but they became even more courageous warriors when facing defeat. The US General Staff estimated that one million more American lives could be lost before the final victory.

Even so, General Eisenhower, several nuclear scientists, and even President Truman’s own Secretary of War advised against the bomb on moral grounds. Truman (how he must have agonized!) overrode them all, for the sake of those one million American lives.

Five square miles of Hiroshima were destroyed, 80,000 lives lost immediately. Tens of thousands died later from radiation burns, plus cancers taking people twenty and even thirty years later.

And still more war followed in that horrendous twentieth century…by 2001, we ourselves faced 9/11…and so my question, what is the way forward, the way out of all this?



4 Answers

Didge Doo Profile
Didge Doo answered

Not an easy question to answer.

The horrors we witnessed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the lessons we learned there have done much to change our perceptions but we have the benefit of hindsight -- a privilege denied to those who made the decision in 1945.

Yes, it was atrocious but the Japanese had themselves perpetrated many atrocities during WWII. Gladys Aylward, in her autobiography "The Small Woman" (later "The Inn of the Sixth Happiness" starring Ingrid Bergman) said that she could not believe the brutality of the Japanese in China when they had been such gentle folk before the invasion.

In 1945, the war had been dragging on for six long, weary years (almost 4 for America) and the world was tired. Most people linked to the Allied nations would have welcomed almost anything that would help them get back to some kind of normality -- and who could blame them?

So the bomb was dropped.

Of course, not everybody has learned the lesson and while the major nuclear powers understand the meaning of "deterrent" the rogue states do not, and could well precipitate a nuclear holocaust.

But of the major nations, not all politicians are in sync with the rest of the world. Two of the most infamous -- men who stated their willingness to use nuclear weapons -- were Senator Barry Goldwater and now ("If we have nuclear weapons, why can't we use them?") Donald Trump.

Cold War I has passed. Cold War II beckons. It almost makes Matthew 24:6 tenable.

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Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
I was 8 when it ended and although I only have a child's memory there's still plenty there. One thing that stands out was all the people coming home from work on VJ day. All the businesses closed down and people were crowded into (and on top of) trams, which were bedecked with rolls of toilet paper (in lieu of any other kind of decoration),

But one thing that stands out were the sensationalist stories in all the newspapers showing how many people would be killed if a bomb were dropped on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. They showed the circles of destruction and, less than 6 miles out, we were well within the problem area. Scary stuff for kids.
Virginia Lou
Virginia Lou commented
Which means you were born in 1937 or very close...one of our Blurtit community mentions being five years old for 9/11, and still remembers, such an impact it made...
Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
Yep 1937. I think most of us have lots of early memories.
Ancient Hippy Profile
Ancient Hippy answered

I don't think there is a way out of this cycle Virginia. War has always been and will always be. Kind of makes you ashamed to be a human being. We slaughter each other for wealth, for land, human bondage, in the name of a god. We have one on one killings for cell phones, money, sex, drugs, etc.

I don't have an answer or a cure.

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Virginia Lou
Virginia Lou commented
Dearest Hippy, this is for Zee also...as you know I tend to be looking and living from the point of view oh yes we can do anything, world peace, world hunger, let's just do it...

But at some level we MUST consider or acknowledge the reality of what you write...I feel certain you have thought about this a great deal...
Call me Z Profile
Call me Z answered

I'm with Hippy on this. 

Our nature is such that we are prone to destroying ourselves. The great contrasts in our disparate cultures and values have to be overcome -I call the sources of most wars- but I question who is really the one to administer the party line. We can be sure there will always be bad guys in need of vanquishing. 

It would take an unprecedented revolution, a worldwide shedding of the old ways that only worked for the privileged few. Sadly Virginia, I can uncomfortably predict: The beat will go on....

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Virginia Lou
Virginia Lou commented
Dear Zee, your comments extremely well-founded, well-grounded in fact...part of me cannot give up on the unprecedented revolution, however...
Call me Z
Call me Z commented
I agree with you, Virginia. As long as there are still some of us around, I have to hold there is a hope we can advance past the morass of our baser instincts. The revolution I refer to might be realized as more of a gradual evolution than a sudden change of direction, but as yet will still present a daunting challenge as long as humans perpetuate tribalism, superstitions and lust for power -the causes of wars and genocides. We can "grow up", but we gotta bring everyone along. Until then, we plod on with only the faint hope.
Matt Radiance Profile
Matt Radiance answered

I don't have a certain answer for this. I guess we all have to carry on but never forget. Move forward but keep the memories.

I give the right to everyone to not like my answer.  I'm gonna answer as an American not from a human sympathy side.

There's no way out. We stuck in between of our enemies. Sometimes politically they are advantage to that to increase the fears and doubts to use it for certain purposes. But America has enemies and that is a fact and the only way to get away with it is to defend our country as hard as we can. To protect our women and children, our freedom and principles and the land that our fathers stood for.

I am not sorry for Hiroshima event and never will be. Japan took American lives and we took theirs. This is war and if you stand there you have to be prepared for the consequences. Japan walked through his limits. Not just Japan but the world should've learn their lessons. The United States of America is not a country to mess with and you can't make her on the knees that easily. If you poke one needle to America, we'll make you get drown under the rain of needles. I assume the world learnt their lessons pretty soon after. No country ever dared to take action ever since.

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