Seventy-five years ago, on August 6 and August 9, the United States dropped atomic bombs on, respectively, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. President Harry Truman stated that the atomic bomb was no great decision. According to Truman, the bomb “was merely another powerful weapon in the arsenal of righteousness.” However, the indiscriminate slaughter of an estimated 150,000 in Hiroshima and 75,000 in Nagasaki simply doesn’t seem all that righteous.
Dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki played no decisive role in defeating Imperial Japan. The Japanese government had been looking for a way out of the war prior to the “Atomic Age” being announced to the world by the destruction of Hiroshima.
The reasoning for dropping the atomic bombs on Japan will be debated for years to come. One thing is certain, the decision to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the consequent buildup of enormous nuclear arsenals, has been made by governments based on their political and military perceptions.
The atomic bomb changed our way of thinking. The concept of a “Balance of Power” had become passé. Instead, the world continues to be plagued by a “Balance of Terror” as the development of nuclear weapons has become more abundant and widespread.
Perhaps the idea of “mutually assured destruction” is enough to deter the use of these awful weapons. John F. Kennedy said it best, “Never have the nations of the world had so much to lose. . . .Together we shall save our planet, or together we shall perish in its flames. . .”
It is either the nuclear arms race or the human race. Which shall it be?
John Di Genio