Posted tagged ‘Hiroshima’

AUGUST ASSERTIONS

August 8, 2017

atom bomb the

I don’t usually let  August 6 and 9 go by without some note of gratitude that I exist.  I’m here.   I’m alive.    And so, therefore,  are my son and daughter and grandson.    (Oh, yes, and  my baby sisters.)

Here’s my Dad:

Dad in Dress Blues

He’s in his Dress Blues,  Marine Corps.     It’s the photo that gets taken to show your Mom or your girlfriend that you’re doing okay in the service.

But when you’re 18 years old in 1945,  the Marine Corps is not a safe place to be, although neither was the whole world.    He and about a million others were en route to the South Pacific for that one great last offensive to put a stop to Japan’s aggression.   (Better read about those horrors, if you don’t know them.   It’s not a matter of “moral equivalence.”)

It was summer,  1945.  My dad said he and his unit were sleeping for weeks on a huge hangar floor, on their duffel bags, waiting for the planes to take them to California,  and then on to ships that would take them to the fighting.   Casualties were expected to be very high.

And then it was August 6th.

And then it was August 9th.

And finally, after experiencing two atom bombs,  Japan surrendered, and my Dad’s unit was not sent  . . .  he reunited with his young wife . . .   and then later I came along.

By every account, from my Dad and his friends, his commanders,  from the military leaders,  from civilian analysts,   those two atom bombs saved the lives of a million or so  young men  from America and from other countries,   because the war ended.

You can hardly call that “an assertion”   because it was the actual well-considered consensus.

Much to my surprise – and disgust –  in these recent years  I’ve heard the assertion:  “Oh, no, a million lives wouldn’t have been saved.”   Simple assertion.

The anti-American rhetoric coming from the socialists has revised the history of World War II;    and since their aim is total pacifism, even in the face of military threats to us,  the ideology which produces that false assertion is:   “the use of atom bombs (knee jerks here) is so reprehensible that no amount of saved lives is worth it.”

“And so besides,   no one knows it would be a million . . . .”

This would be my Dad’s  regular uniform:

Dad PFC

Ready to die.

So for me,  for millions in my generation,   for maybe your mom and dad who exist because the atom bomb was used,  let’s pause to be glad we exist.

Let’s not celebrate these atom bombs, but let’s look clearly and weigh all the alternatives.   Let’s not throw unsupported assertions at each other.    There are many, many books written in the 1940s and 1950s that deliver some very sobering analysis of what was going on in those days.

As always,  if you want to know some history, let the people who lived then tell you what happened.

I happened upon an article that said during the Cold War, when the Soviets were actually threatening us,   the ratio of our nuclear weapons to theirs was 13 to 1.    Overkill,  I think,  but those are the facts.

Today?   The ratio of nuclear and nuclear type weapons is  1  to 4.     The rest of the world has four times as many (nuclear) weapons as we have.

map nk

In today’s news there is one tiny nation that is actively threatening the U.S.  and showing us every few days that they are becoming capable, or are capable now,   of hitting   Alaska or Seattle or San Diego or Hawaii  with a nuclear weapon.

I don’t know . . .    if Hawaii is hit,  is Hawaii worth going to war over?

Now we’re back to World War II.

 

 

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