Should America Have Dropped the Atomic Bomb on Japan?
As the Democratic Party has gained greater control over our education system (FEC data: 87% of teachers & 90% of professors are Democrats) it has not only become more costly, but less effective.
What our education system is good at though is churning out low-information Democrats. Safe spaces for all!
Many Democrats feel our schools aren’t teaching enough about the “dark spots” of history, which is how they justify their support for CRT. A theory that believes “to fix past discrimination there needs to be current discrimination.”
There has been this sort of role back of history. People want to hide history. Parents don’t want children to learn about the real history and when we teach children about the real history that’s when we’ll have true racial reconciliation. — Sunny Hoston, The View
Trevor Noah equates banning CRT in K-12 education to banning teaching about slavery. Can you spot the strawman?
When asked about why the U.S. Department of Education wants teachers to use CRT reading material, the White House Press Secretary dishonestly framed CRT as if it was only about teaching the bad of our history, “children should learn not just the good, but also the challenging in our history.”
In reality, American history classes already push a more negative view of our nation’s past, hence why children are less patriotic than ever before. It’s not their parents who are making them unpatriotic because those children who have two active parents are more likely to be patriotic republicans, but it’s the children who are primarily fed, raised, clothed, housed, entertained, and educated by the state or a liberal elite boarding school who tend to be the most anti-American.
Back when I was in high school in 2010 (the education curriculum has moved even further Left since then) I remember how so much of American history class was focused on how businesses and southerners treated a group badly and then how political activists heroically pressured the federal government to act. The curriculum was also largely anti-war by placing a lot of emphasis on a war’s downsides rather than its benefits; the shaky ground in which it may have been justified rather than counterfactuals.
A prime example of our education system’s unpatriotic bent centers around a pretty innocuous question that is asked in classrooms across the country: Should America have dropped the atomic bomb?
President Truman [D] should’ve listened to General Douglas MacArthur [R], General Dwight D. Eisenhower [R], and Former President Hoover [R] by offering Japan a conditional surrender.
As MacArthur’s biographer, William Manchester, wrote:
He knew that the Japanese would never renounce their emperor, and that without him an orderly transition to peace would be impossible anyhow, because his people would never submit to Allied occupation unless he ordered it. Ironically, when the surrender did come, it was conditional, and the condition was a continuation of the imperial reign. Had the General’s advice been followed, the resort to atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki might have been unnecessary.
General Dwight Eisenhower recalled a visit from Truman’s Secretary of War in July 1945:
I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of ‘face.’
Former President Herbert Hoover visited Truman in May 1945 to argue that the best way to end the war quickly was to alter the terms of surrender. According to Hoover’s biographer, he told Truman:
I am convinced that if you, as President, will make a shortwave broadcast to the people of Japan — tell them they can have their Emperor if they surrender, that it will not mean unconditional surrender except for the militarists — you’ll get a peace in Japan, you’ll have both wars over.
Guaranteeing the Emperor’s position might’ve ended the war sooner, therefore, avoiding that fateful day.
But if after the Soviet invasion the Japanese still hadn’t surrendered then I think Truman should’ve dropped the bomb.
At that point nuking them would’ve led to fewer deaths than the alternatives: an indefinite blockade to starve the population into submission, more firebombing, and/or the planned Allied invasion (Operation Downfall).
But the reason the Allies didn’t offer a conditional surrender is because Imperial Japan was arguably worse than Nazi Germany.
Imperial Japan attacked us at Pearl Harbor, conquered a larger part of the globe, killed more people where some historical estimates put the death toll between 3–14 million (by comparison the Holocaust was roughly 6 million), and arguably did so in an overall more gruesome fashion.
Just consider that if the US got the nuclear bomb before 1945 then according to primary sources we would’ve nuked Berlin, which would’ve likely obliterated the Nazi leadership, therefore, bringing the war to an immediate end.
Would you have supported nuking Berlin? Or would you have preferred the land invasion, which led to the loss of millions of lives and the partitioning of the country into East and West? Or would you have supported offering Nazi Germany a conditional surrender where the Führer would be allowed to stay on as a figurehead?
Are you a nuke sympathizer or a Nazi sympathizer?
In the end, we may question whether we used our finisher too fast.
The “what ifs” of history can be fun to explore and learn from, but ultimately, we may have had to drop the nuke anyway because even after Hiroshima, Manchuria, and Nagasaki the Japanese military was arming citizens with bamboo sticks with the Supreme Council deadlocked 3–3 on whether to surrender, which culminated in a failed coup. Basically, half the council refused to surrender no matter what. The nuke helped the Emperor save face to finally insist on surrendering because he surrendered less to an army and more to a doomsday weapon.
Despite the best that has been done by everyone — the gallant fighting of the military and naval forces, the diligence and assiduity of our servants of the state, and the devoted service of our one hundred million people — the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest.
Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is, indeed, incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should we continue to fight, not only would it result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization.
Such being the case, how are we to save the millions of our subjects, or to atone ourselves before the hallowed spirits of our imperial ancestors? This is the reason why we have ordered the acceptance of the provisions of the joint declaration of the powers. — Hirohito surrender broadcast
But the point of this answer isn’t so much to defend America dropping the bomb, but to highlight how asking this question without broader context is a way to denigrate our history because even if one is effectively able to make a case for killing hundreds of thousands of non-combatants it’s still a tough pill to swallow for even the most patriotic.
Here’s my ultimate point: what you focus on, e x p a n d s.
Americans should welcome constructive criticism, but let’s not miss the dark spots for the whole cow.
American history classes should focus less on anecdotes and more on statistics. Less Critical Race Theory and more critical thinking.
Statistically, “Should America have nuked Japan?” is a less impactful question than “Was America a net-positive for Japan?”
And the answer to that question is an unequivocal YES!
Currently, in American history class, we learn nothing about the atrocities committed by the Japanese troops and of the pseudo-slavery the average Japanese person existed under.
Simply by destroying Imperial Japan, millions of lives were saved.
But America didn’t just remove the bad, but we also added a lot of good!
When General Douglas MacArthur landed in Japan, the people thought they’d rightly be starved, tortured, and looted. All is fair in love and war?
But instead, MacArthur personified American magnanimity.
When the Japanese discovered that MacArthur had ordered a five-year jail sentence for any American caught slapping a Japanese. “That,” a Japanese man said, “was when we knew we had lost the war.”
The Japanese loved their “conqueror” MacArthur!
Americans regard MacArthur as a conqueror of Japan but the Japanese did not take him that way. He was a liberator. Japanese regarded MacArthur as the highest human being, just below god. — Rinjiro Sodei, Japanese political scientist and author
And rightly so because his policies saved and improved millions of Japanese lives!
SCAP (Supreme Commander of Allied Powers) conducted a national sanitation and vaccination program, which by the end of it had wiped out cholera, and decreased tuberculosis by 88%, diphtheria 86%, dysentry 86%, and typhoid 90%, which according to Dr. Crawford Sams (head of SCAP’s Department of Public Health and Welfare) in the first two years of the occupation, the control of communicable diseases had saved 2.1 million Japanese lives — more than the country’s battle deaths during the entire war and over 3X the number of civilians killed in wartime bombings, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki! The life expectancy of men increased by 8 years and of women 14 years, which as Dr. Sams wrote the improvement was “unequaled in any country in the world in medical history in a comparable period of time.”
SCAP tackled land reform. He wrote, “As late as the end of the war a system of virtual slavery that went back to ancient times was still in existence. Most farmers in Japan were either out-and-out serfs, or they worked under an arrangement through which the landowners exorbited a high percentage of each year’s crops.” Under his leadership, by 1950, 89% of all agricultural land was owner-operated therefore lifting millions of Japanese out of the brink of starvation. Historians consider it one of the most successful land reform policies in history.
SCAP also drafted a new constitution for Japan, which enfranchised women, guaranteed human rights, outlawed racial discrimination, abolished nobility, and disarmed the army. The Japanese have benefited from it so much that it’s now the oldest unamended constitution in the world.
SCAP’s “revolutionary” reforms were so successful that in the span of a generation, Japan went from “complete devastation” to an “economic powerhouse” in what became known as the “Japanese economic miracle.”
MacArthur somewhat biasedly concluded,
Historians a thousand years from now may give the last war only a line saying, ‘And then the whole world was swept by a large conflagration.’ But I believe there will be a page, maybe a chapter, telling how freedom and democracy were brought to the Far East by the United States — one of the greatest and perhaps the noblest single achievement of our country.
But in American history textbooks today, there isn’t even a f*cking sentence highlighting this achievement!
In the end, it’s historical malpractice for an educator to teach about nuking Japan without teaching about nation-building Japan.
By putting more emphasis on statistics than American history classes would as a consequence reveal how the world has never been wealthier, healthier, and more peaceful (supported in part by the nuke) with the US playing a key role. And from there we’d reason out that we are great because of who we are.
Instead of kids walking out of history class hating themselves, they should recognize that every nation and every person is imperfect, but from our founding day, Americans have sought to become ever more perfect.
We have thus far largely succeeded in our mission and so as a consequence, we have an obligation no matter our color or creed to do our part.
To whom much is given, much is required.
God Bless America.