Remembering Truman’s Tough Call and Churchill’s Efforts

Interesting piece in today’s Pitsburgh Post-Gazette about President Harry S. Truman’s decision to use nuclear weapons against Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki in order to finally end the deadliest conflict in human history.

korean_war_truman.jpgI was unaware that apparently, after the war Japanese Emperor Hirohito – who had led Japan in its fanatical quest for domination – acknowledged that, as Japan had been fanatically opposed to surrender, in the big picture, the use of these terrible bombs probably saved lives–Japanese as well as American.

After the war, Winston Churchill, who had helped Roosevelt and Truman in leading the allies to victory, worked to prevent nuclear proliferation – the thought of which he dreaded. No civilized person can view the introduction of nuclear weapons into existence – and warfare – as anything but tragic.

It is also important to remember the unthinkably ghastly effects of the use of nuclear weapons and remember Churchill’s efforts to prevent proliferation.

Finally, in an age of revisionism, it is important to be clear on what actually happened prior to use of the first atomic weapons, and learn about why Truman made the decision he did.  Truman’s decision probably saved countless lives – American, Japanese, and those of many other nationalities. Counter-intuitive though it may seem, Truman made his decision in order to save lives, not take them.

In a discussion of such import, moral relativism has no place. It is important to understand: nuclear weapons in the hands of rogue regimes is unacceptable. Tragic as it may be for any nation to develop and hold nuclear weapons, there is simply no comparison between possession of nuclear weapons by stable democracies that would never use them for purposes of expansion, domination, or genocidal fanaticism – and possession of them by fanatical, totalitarian regimes. It is vital to carefully assess the historical record, and to employ common sense in this discussion.

This entry was written by and posted on August 4, 2010 at 12:47 pm and filed under Blog.