It was during the Second World War that the USA dropped two atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki cities of Japan. This caused a lot of destruction with its negative effects being felt up to date. Monuments have been erected on the places where the bombs hit Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hundreds of thousands of people died in these two cities following the dropping of weapons of mass destruction by the US following a directive from her president – Harry S. Truman.
This was after Japan failed to agree to surrender during the war as was agreed in Potsdam where issuance of declaration was done to push Japan to give in to the war (Kennedy, Bailey, 99). Together with the then president of the China Republic and the United Kingdom Prime Minister, Truman came up with a document enumerating ‘terms of surrender’ to Japan upon which if it failed to adhere to would face the consequences. Japan on its part thought it was just a mere threat and therefore failed to surrender. This prompted the USA president to mobilize the bombing of the two cities.
According to reports, the dropping of the first atomic bomb- ‘the little boy’ on Hiroshima was a ‘test’ of the capability of destruction. This though did not move Japan, a situation that led to the dropping of the second atomic bomb- ‘the fat man’ on Nagasaki killing and maiming an estimate of 35,000- 80,000 people, some instantly and others afterwards because of after- effects. War had been raging on across the pacific from 1939. Some Japanese cities had been bombed before the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the U. S. A, which were spared but for just a while.
This is because there was a stalemate between the two countries- Japan and the U. S. A. The US government was also prompted by the acts of Japanese military of attacking the Pearl Harbor. U. S. A decided therefore to force Japan to admit defeat in the war, an event that did not go well with Japan, thus resisting it. Japan’s worry was the inclusion of the words “Unconditional Surrender” in the pact issued by the U. S. A regarding ceasefire (Walker, 28). Without warning so as not to be prevented on its mission, U. S. A decided to drop the bombs on Japan.
This was on anticipation that because they were fighting for disarmament and dropping of use of nuclear weapons the process of forcing Japan to surrender would not succeed because of interjections by other parties to the war. Japan had waged war against the U. S. A following the Pacific war, a situation that led to many U. S. A citizens to lose their lives and property destroyed. These bombings were not an easy task to accomplish. On humanitarian grounds, using atomic bombs would cause much unwanted suffering and aggression.
On moral grounds, it would be really wrong to do it as taking away human life is wrong considering that life is sacred. Though Japan was determined to make peace with the U. S. A, the only thing that hindered this decision was the words “Unconditional Surrender”. With calls for demonstration of the operation of the bombs to the Japanese civilians unheeded, the bombings were inevitable. Petitions for the withdrawal of the use of atomic bombs by the U. S on Japan were uncalled for and already too late as tests of the effective destruction by the bombs had already been conducted.
At this point, nothing seemed to stop the inevitable bombing as the then president of the US (Truman) issued an order to use atomic bombs (Newman, 21). Hiroshima was a communication hub as well as a military center. Nagasaki was an industrial town and a port with plants to make military weapons giving the more reason they should be attacked, the purpose being to derail the Japanese militants. The scientist behind the making of the atomic bombs used on Japan regretted the use of these bombs. Driven by personal conviction and conscience, this scientist never wanted the use of the bombs at all on Japan.
This implies that he foresaw the destruction the bombs would cause with regard to human life and humanity. The explanation given by President Truman on the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was that they were military bases and that he wished to avoid the bombing of women and children, reports indicate that over 95 % of those killed and maimed were civilians and not militants. US wanted to end and win the war, but Japan would not accept prompting dire measures to be taken upon it. Another reason given was to save Americans from the war and not only them but also Japanese as well.
Resources also were being protected from further destruction. It is for certain that he USA took advantage of her technological advancement to attack Japan with the atomic bombs (Kennedy, Bailey, 101). This is because; it was the first time atomic bombs were being used, just shortly after their discovery. Following the demise of the American soldiers killed by Japanese military forces during the war, revenge seemed another driving factor to the bombing of the two cities. The decision by the USA militants to block entry of oil tankers and food entering the country of Japan could have propelled the Japanese to surrender.
This is because it means that people could no live because of lack of food and no traveling as all running engines would be deprived of what is the most important-oil causing everything to go into disarray. More diplomatic tactics would be used as use of excessive force was unnecessary. Chances of arbitration or mediation were there, but US decided on the use of force. It might have been a revenge mission but which cost so many lives with claims of saving even more lives. It might be true the allegations, but where is the rationale behind the bombings considering that Japan had every indication of surrendering in the war?
The US troops had largely won the war though a considerable number lost their lives, very little force therefore would be required to claim Japan’s adamancy to surrender. This would include just the normal warfare between militants. The fact that US was fighting back the attack of the pearl harbor did not give her reason to interfere with the internal organization of Japan as a country, it should have just left Japan to continue with its cultural practice of having an emperor and convincing the country’s citizens on the importance of having peace and maintaining it (Wainstock, 12).
Forcing the country to abandon its practice which was known and practiced for many years meant resistance with an eminent danger of sparking unrelenting war. Instead of using force, it should have used reasoning and logic to convince the people of the country to refuse tyrannical kind of a rule. Therefore, even though the bombings act was widely acceptable by most of the Americans in solving the stalemate, it brought about gnawing memories to the people of Japan. The resultant situation can best be described as that of devastation and hopelessness to the victims.
Courtney from Study Moose
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