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Monday, August 08, 2005

 

Hiroshima denials

Catching up on my reading, I’ve seen a lot in the media and on the streets about the wickedness and evil of the Americans in dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki 60 years ago, resulting in the surrender of the Japanese at the end of WWII. Lots of people have been shedding tears over the horrors inflicted by the Allies on the Japanese mainland.

One guy even had a go at me while I was on holiday because I wouldn’t sign his petition. I wouldn’t support his views because I’ve taken the time to do a little reading on the subject. There wasn’t any point arguing, his blinkers were set to maximum so he could only see his own point of view.

What you don’t hear a lot about is the probability of even higher military and civilian casualties if an invasion of the Japanese mainland had taken place. There is the view that those nice Japanese would have surrendered wouldn’t they? There is also a substantial body of evidence that would support a contrary argument. Read about the “Rape of Nanking” in 1937 for an insight into Imperial Japanese military thinking between 1930-46.

You might say “So what? That didn’t justify Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”
I say the evidence of Japanese military hubris and atrocity is almost enough to justify saying; “Why invade? Any country that can do what they did to the Chinese almost deserved to be wiped out.” Any country whose junior officers engage in a ‘Beheading contest’ of prisoners has serious ethical problems to say the least. The photographs of the killers and others tell their own story more eloquently than a million words.

Only our ‘western’ values wouldn’t let us use more Atomic bombs (Yes, yes, the Japanese surrendered, the Allies only had two etc.). Good job too. Horrific though they were, the expediencies of the time dictated that by inflicting two massive atomic explosions with casualties of 200,000+, many times that figure (On both sides, Allied & Japanese, civilian and military) did not have to die in a pyrrhic invasion of the Japanese mainland.

On a more personal note; my father helped repatriate British and Empire POW’s from the Japanese camps. As a result of his experiences, he would never have anything of Japanese origin in our house. At the time he and I often argued vehemently about this. I was, like many of my generation, fervently anti nuclear weapons. He often said that he was glad the two Atomic bombs had been dropped on Japan. Having seen the evidence of what the Japanese were doing during those years for myself, nowadays I would agree with him.

Iris Chang’s book and other, similar sources are not something I would read with a full breakfast inside me. Read the evidence, pro and con, before commenting.

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Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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