I. Introduction and Thesis
Fingers deformed, ears missing, skin hanging and patches of burnt skin- This was how the hibakusha (survivors) of the Japanese Cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were seen. Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki devastated not only the cities but also left its people in horrific and terrible condition. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not justifiable because it was inhumane, it did not really end the war, and Japan would have surrendered anyways.
During World War 2, an American B-29 dropped the world’s first Atomic bomb called “Little Man” over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945,killing over 90 percent of the city and about 80,000 people and more died later of radiation exposure. After 3 days, a second B-29 dropped another Atomic bomb named “Fat Man” on Nagasaki, taking the lives of 40,000 people. The United States purpose to use the bombing was to force Japan to unconditionally surrender. Furthermore, the US needed to use the A- bomb before the Soviet Union entered the war to establish US dominance. They wanted to use the world’s first atomic bomb for an actual attack and observe its effect.
In a radio address, Hirohito, announced Japan’s unconditional surrender in World War II, citing the deadly power of “a new and most cruel bomb.”
A group of American scientists became concerned with nuclear weapons research being conducted in Nazi Germany. The government of the United States funded its own weapons development program, which came under the responsibility of both the Office of Scientific Research and Development and the War Department after the U.S. entry into World War II. “The Manhattan Project ” was the codename for the A-bomb project at the Columbia University, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were given the task of leading the construction of the vast facilities necessary for this top-secret program.
To begin with, the bombings done in Hiroshima followed by Nagasaki was not necessary. The United States should have not bombed the populated cities of Japan, Little Boy and Fat Man probably killed more than 200,000 Japanese civilians. Such mass destruction of life of civilians is sorrowful. Rather, Tokyo Bay could have been the best place to drop the bomb, where no civilians could get hurt and they could impose a warning to Japan. Such a warning could have persuaded Japan to end the war, and its humane nature would have enhanced the US’s moral standing.
According to Google, a bomb is a container filled with explosive, incendiary material, smoke, gas, or other destructive substance. But what America dropped on Japan was not a bomb, it was a poisonous material which ate up lives by radiation. Chairman of the wartime Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral William D. Leahy said that “The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender”. (“We Shouldn’t Have Bombed Hiroshima”, 1996?)
Furthermore, the atomic bomb was developed from a new technology and there was no way that Japan could have been ready for such kind of attack as the world hadn’t seen such type of explosive until it was dropped. So, the dropping of the atomic bomb was pretty much unfair.
Also, Truman could have waited for the Soviet Union to enter the war but he did not want the USSR to participate for Japan. Another alternative, which the US secretary of war, Stimson, recommended, was that the emperor would not be held responsible for the war under the policy of unconditional surrender. But the secretary of state, James Byrnes, much closer to Truman that time, turned it down.
Instead of dropping the A-bombs, the United States signalled to the world that it considered nuclear weapons “legitimate weapons of war”. Furthermore, Americans have been taught that the bombing on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was justified because the bombings ended the Pacific War. This false information is found in high school textbooks even today. Moreover, it also influences the thinking of government officials and military planners working in a world that still has more than 15,000, nuclear weapons out there.
Moreover, It was not the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that ended the Pacific war. Instead, it was the Soviet invasion of Manchuria and other Japanese colonies that began on midnight Aug. 8, 1945. (“Bombing Hiroshima changed the world, but it didn’t end WWII”)
Therefore, The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not justifiable because it was inhumane, it did not really end the war, and Japan would have surrendered anyways.
IV. Rebuttal(s) of Counterpoint(s)
As the Japanese had struck the Pearl Harbors with bombs and explosives, the US definitely had the right to fight back but not in such an inhumane and destructing way. Pearl Harbor was a military based ship harbor, so no innocent civilians were killed during that bombing. The United States, instead of bombing a Japanese military base, bombed two Japanese cities that were not even under the Japanese military. The two cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were completely destructed, leaving it lifeless. Children, men , women, elderly-aged people were killed by the bombs. The temples, schools, hospitals, living quarters, etc were also burnt down.
It is clear that these bombs took away the lives of those innocents, who had nothing to do with the war and the US should not have used these kind of explosives.
In Conclusion, The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not justifiable because it was inhumane, it did not really end the war, and Japan would have surrendered. The killing of innocent people was unnecessary and unethical, it was no less than a mass murder and murder is never justifiable. Just as one would not justify mass killings like the Holocaust, it is crucial to understand how immoral it is to justify the critical and awful loss of human life in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
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