This letter is in response to “Bombs of August: Why Truman was right” (The Lima News 8/26/18).
After narrating the killings that went on both sides during World War II, the author considers legitimate the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the light of the thousands of lives of American soldiers that would, supposedly, be saved by their use. The question, in its blunt reality would be: How many innocent men, women and children is it legitimate to slaughter for a “greater good.” Further, the author doesn’t address the fact that Japan was already making overtures for surrender, but was objecting to the unconditional surrender being demanded by the Allies. No less a figure than General Douglas MacArthur and General Dwight Eisenhower felt that further efforts towards a surrender that would be acceptable to the Japanese should be made.
The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a moral atrocity, and, in the words of Admiral William Leahy, Chief of Staff to President Truman, “…in being the first to use it (the atomic bomb), we had adopted an ethical standard common to the Barbarians of the dark ages.”
In the wake the USA being the first to use the atom bomb, there has been a gradual and deadly spread of atomic weaponry around the world. And these arms, becoming ever more powerful, are simply a disaster waiting to happen. The world needs to say an emphatic “no” to nuclear weapons, no to their continued development, no to their use, and no to their very existence. Then, perhaps, we can all work, globally, towards peaceful coexistence and mutual cooperation, being enriched rather than divided by our differences.
Al O’Dell, Kalida