The Pros And Cons Of The Atomic Bomb

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On the morning of August 6, 1945, the Enola Gay, a B-29 bomber, set its sights on Hiroshima, Japan to enact the destruction of the entire city through Little Boy, the first atomic bomb to be used in an attack by the only nation to ever use a nuclear weapon in war—the United States. With the rise of a mushroom cloud over the city came the immediate death of thousands of Japanese civilians and the remains of buildings obliterated by the five-ton uranium bomb. Though the general American consensus justifies the use of the bomb through its necessity to shorten the war and save millions of lives, many scholars tend to raise questions of ethics as to whether or not President Harry Truman should have dropped the atomic bomb. Despite the fact that…show more content…
Total war eliminates the “distinctions between the front lines and the noncombatants on the home front” (Suzuki, “Why Was” 87) meaning that any and all who participate in any aspect of the war are a part of the war effort and could be treated as such; this redefined the approach of military tactics in World War II. That then begs the question as to whether or not the bombing of Hiroshima, an act that killed thousands of civilians indirectly linked to the war, was an unfortunate consequence of total war or a brutal tactic that had few qualities of merit. President Truman had been presented options that ultimately led to two choices: he could spare millions of American soldiers—a statistic that has been disproven in favor of “estimates…that were projected [to be]…about forty six thousand” (Gresser, “Macro-Ethics” 74)—in the chance that invasion were necessary or sacrifice a countless number of Japanese civilians. While invasions and attacks on military instruments in wartime are considered to be morally permissible, the conventional bombing of cities that are especially in urban and industrialized areas tend to be classified as morally dubious—a gray area of war. However, it must be noted that “around [100,000]-140,000 [occupants in Hiroshima, most of whom were women, children, and the elderly rather than soldiers, were] believed to have died by the end of 1945” (Miyazaki, “The View” 533) as a result of the initial atomic bombing and radiation. Comparing the estimates of American casualties in the instance of an invasion to that of the actual death count in Hiroshima, the deaths of the Japanese in the wake of Little Boy were almost triple to what was projected to be the amount of U.S. casualties. In addition, those who were not killed by the bomb drop were likely to have

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