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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Saturday, August 06, 2005
What It Takes To Win
60 Years Later
Considering Hiroshima.

I hope I’ve trained some of our readers to look for Victor Davis Hanson’s articles on NRO every Friday. Today is the sixtieth anniversary of the American dropping of a single nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, killing over 100,000 people, the vast majority civilians. Hanson reviews our self-doubt over that decision over the last six decades and explains why those who supported the decision did so.
The truth, as we are reminded so often in this present conflict, is that usually in war there are no good alternatives, and leaders must select between a very bad and even worse choice. Hiroshima was the most awful option imaginable, but the other scenarios would have probably turned out even worse.
Meanwhile, Hiroshima marked the day with a ceremony mourning the victims and praying for peace. I'm still surprised by the gap between how we and the Japanese see the war. I guess it's too much to expect that a defeated nation come to see the conflict in the same way as the victor, but is it too much to expect a little introspection at such a ceremony? A touch of "look at what horrors we brought on ourselves"? The mayor of Hiroshima seems to have learned all the wrong lessons from history.
Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba, an outspoken critic of Koizumi's hawkish foreign policy, was more emotional in his "Peace Declaration." He gave an empassioned plea for the abolition of all nuclear weapons and said the United States, Russia and other members of the nuclear club were "jeopardizing human survival."
Does he not realize that without nuclear weapons we would have burned Tokyo to the ground with conventional weapons the same way we did to Dresden? Does he not understand how many Japanese would have died while we invaded the home islands? Has he not realized that without our nuclear deterrent all of Europe would have spent the twentieth century under Soviet domination? Need I remind the mayor that though we melted Hiroshima, it is now a city in a sovereign Japan, not under American control, which would not have been true had China conquered Japan?

Those who mourn for Hiroshima's dead should not rail against nuclear weapons; they should rail against expansionist imperial regimes with global aspirations.
Wow. This post really stirred up a lot of controversy. I'm really going to have to ask all of you commenters to keep it down and try to be more civil.

If you're not careful, Oven is going to post more puzzles, and I'll get back to writing about astronomy.
Did you say astrology?
BTW, I agree with everything you said (no surprise).
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