The Immorality of America's Decision to Bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki

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“In an instant 130,000 people—helpless men, women, and children—were incinerated. Human beings were literally vaporized. Skin hung from unrecognizable bodies like strands of dark seaweed. Some victims lived on for a time as their burning bodies turned carbon black” (Walter 1). This is just a brief eye-witness account of the horrific aftermath of the decision, headed by President Harry Truman, to drop an atomic bomb first on Hiroshima, Japan, and four days later on Nagasaki, Japan. The morality of this decision has been both questioned and defended ever since the event occurred, since both sides of the debate carry some validity to a certain degree. This decision, however, was an unnecessary war-crime and a morally deplorable action, that instead of benefiting a tactical war effort, simply murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. The first part of the argument is that since Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, killing around 3,000 U.S. military personnel, our revenge on them was justifiable. This is not so. The bombing of Pearl Harbor was a lamentable act of violence during WWII; however, this violence was directly aimed at the U.S. military, a reasonable target, not at innocent American citizens. Pearl Harbor was a military base, and although a few citizens inhabited the area, most of the fatalities were soldiers and other people affiliated with the military. This act, therefore, is more justified within the realm of war, because the attack was purely directed at the United States Military. In compliance with the previous argument, because America has been unjustly attacked before, we should be able to act in a similar way in war, such as displayed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The ridiculousness of this statement is fairly ob... ... middle of paper ... ...opic, I still cannot possibly comprehend the thought; this classroom, filled with innocence, personality and opportunity, suddenly empty. Works Cited Sullivan, Walter F. "Hiroshima and Nagasaki After 50 Years." America. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Excerpt from Hiroshima and Nagasaki After 50 Years. New York: America Press, 1984. Inspire. Web. 7 Dec. 2009. "U.S. Citizens Killed and Erased from History." ucla.edu. N.p., 10 Oct. 2007. Web. 7 Dec. 2009. . Koser, Amber. "Summary of the Cold War." Associated Content. N.p., 29 Dec. 2008. Web. 7 Dec. 2009. . "What if Hiroshima Never Happened?" TIME. TIME Magazine, 10 Aug. 1970. Web. 7 Dec. 2009. .

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