Was U.S. justified in dropping the Atomic Bomb in Japan?
Was it just or unjust? What other option did we have?
If you — a gardener — knew that a man would inevitably cut your beloved tree down from it’s roots wouldn’t you stop him? Preventing him from even scraping the bark made from years’ worth of love and hard work. Wouldn’t you prevent that man from doing so? Especially if you knew he had no reason to cut it down except for the sake of doing so, he just does. Our brothers and sisters, we make up that tree and our heads form the gardener who protects us from that crazed man — the Japanese military. In the time during World War II, we dropped the atomic bomb in two Japanese cities, Nagasaki and Hiroshima, to prevent further loss of American lives. Knowing that the crazed man wouldn’t stop at his conquest of fight and destruction, we had no choice but to drop these atomic bombs. In saving American lives and preventing damage on our beloved tree, dropping the atomic bomb on Japan was justified.
Harry S. Truman, the president at the time, would acknowledge the number of American lives that were saved due to the atomic bomb. It was estimated by the Army-Navy at the time, “about 200,000 American casualties…including 50,000 killed (Choices:President Truman, Emperor Hirohito, and the Atomic Bomb, page 1)” would’ve happened if we land-invaded Japan in lieu of, dropping the atomic bomb. If we did a land invasion our country would suffer more loss, more families shattered and left broken-hearted by the loss of their sons, brothers, husbands, fathers, and friends in a battle that could be avoided. We would’ve lost these men — precious leaves that make up our beautiful tree. Leaves collect sunlight and moisture to provide nutrients for the tree as a whole, without it the tree stops growing, withers and dies. Without these men in the lives of their family then who will his son ask to play ball? Who will their wives ask for warmth and comfort in cold nights? Who will their fathers talk too when they have something fatherly to say? Without these men then, no one. We already have lost a plethora of Americans in previous wars such as WWI and, in worse terms, the Civil War. Thus, to save their lives, the use of the atomic bomb was justified and logically used.
On another perspective, by dropping the atomic bomb we also saved the lives of many Japanese people. At the time the Japanese militia and their people had a mindset that they’d rather kill themselves than to surrender to the enemy. It was estimated by General MacArthur, “about 50,000 American casualties and several times that number of Japanese casualties”( If the Atomic Bomb had Not been Used, Karl T. Compton) will occur if a land invasion took place. Even at the brink of defeat most of the Japanese citizens would have committed suicide, severely affecting their population and family tree. Imagine losing an eighth of the population today, your friends and relatives descendants of those people in Japan during WWII, all gone. You see, WWII and the dropping of the atomic bomb wasn’t only about saving American lives; although most people don’t know it, it was also about saving the lives of others such as, England, France, Italy, Poland, and, yes, the lives of our enemies from turmoil. If you were the brother or sister of the crazed man and you knew he’d hurt himself in the process of cutting down that tree, wouldn’t you stop him from doing so? Of course. That’s why dropping the atomic bomb was justified it inevitably saved many American and Japanese lives.
For those who say that there was another way to approach Japan’s surrender, you should know that there was. The other option was to bomb Japan’s rice fields and harvest to create famine among their community. An estimated “ several million, by credible estimates” ( Back to Hiroshima: Why Dropping the bomb saved millions of lives, Philip Jenkins) would have died by the famine. Which was relatively close to the number of lives taken by the atomic bomb. Although this approach was estimated less deadly and horrific as the atomic bomb, it wouldn’t be enough for Japan’s surrender. Sure it would lessen their harvest but, they could replenish their supplies by plundering other nearby Asian countries which will cause more havoc. Also, bombing the earth’s precious fields full of nutrients and rich soil won’t be ideal since there is only so much of good soil farming in the world. In contrast to what we think, such actions to create famine may even cause more destruction than the atomic bomb. Fields burned, no seeds and no harvest, that would have taken a number of months or years to restore Japan’s fields. This would affect generations of Japanese farmers and their economy. During this timeline many would suffer and die of no food, death by starvation is cruel and terrible. Many Japanese people may grow hostile towards each other due to that fact. Also this option would’ve taken even more months before Japan surrenders and then the plan being deemed effective and, possibly more lives taken in comparison to the atomic bomb. Although this was an option, the destruction of precious land, the time it will take to make a huge difference and the cruelty of starvation made it not ideal in comparison to the atomic bomb.
The atomic bomb was justified in its use during the WWII but, it wasn’t morally right. Killing millions of innocent people wasn’t an ideal result, the crazed man suffered many losses. But either option — atomic bomb or famine -of stopping the crazed man in cutting our tree down resulted in the loss of life and was immoral. So we need not to lose another American man, brother, father, husband in a land-based invasion nor did we have to cause famine that will result in years of pain and starvation. The atomic bomb was the most effective option and was justified. It did save many American and Japanese lives and time. Though the atomic bomb was justified, hopefully we don’t need to use it again any time soon or ever.
Work Cited Page
- Constitutional Rights Foundation Bill of Rights in Action. BRIA 153B Choices. Truman, Hirohito, and the Atomic Bomb. Constitutional Rights Foundation, 1 Jan 1999 WEB 20 February 2017
- Compton, Karl T. “If the Atomic Bomb Had Not Been Used.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 09 Oct. 2014. Web. 21 Feb. 2017.
- “Back to Hiroshima: Why Dropping the Bomb Saved Ten Million Lives.” — Opinion — ABC Religion & Ethics (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). ABC , 18 May 2016. Web. 21 Feb. 2017.
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