As the 60th anniversary of Hiroshima approaches so do the theatrics typically associated with that event and the two mythologies of World War II that still haunt our history. First is the lie that the atom bomb was a horrific atrocity. Secondly that Japan was a victim of the bomb.
The anti-war activists who only protests wars in which America fights a non-Western nation and see America as the source of all evil in the world are gearing up for it. Signs hang featuring the mushroom cloud beneath the slogan, 'Never Again.' It is a despicable enough form of Holocaust revisionism to transfer the slogan used against the Holocaust to defend the allies of its perpetrators. But such is the revisionism of the left.
The creation of the mythology of the atomic bomb is a key element in the arsenal of the left in demonizing and delegitimizing America as the only nation to have used an atom bomb in warfare. It is intended to make Americans fearful and doubtful of the necessary actions they take to defend themselves and to save millions of lives, a propaganda coup which continues to resonate today in the fearful and hesitant approach to the war on Islamic terrorism. The mythology though is a lie.
The mythology claims that the atomic bomb was the most terrible weapon ever unleashed. This however is utter nonsense. The firebombing raids of Tokyo claimed over 100,000 lives. The atomic bombs by contrast claimed somewhere around 60,000 and 40,000 lives respectively. The majority of those killed by the atomic bombs died of burns, as did those killed in the firebombing raids. Japan has continually worked to inflate the numbers of casualties to an absurd degree, even calling an old man who died several years ago, another of the victims of Hiroshima. But that is not a legitimate method of counting up casualties, anymore than calling a Vietnam Veteran whose life is shortened by an old wound and dies today, another casualty of the Vietnam War.
When actual casualties of the bombing are counted, the death toll for the bombs was lower than that of the firebombing raids as well as the invasion of Okinawa which claimed casualties 3 or 4 times as high. The fighting and civilian casualties would only have grown much worse in the event of an actual invasion of the Japanese islands. The Japanese military at the time was calling on their civilians to commit suicide or die fighting the Americans and showcasing plans to drive 4 or 5 million Japanese civilians directly against the Americans to prevent an invasion. The casualties for any invasion of Japan would have been horrendous, on the American side and even more so on the Japanese side. Hiroshima and Nagasaki brought some sense to a maddened regime that was prepare to wipe out millions of their own people to stop the Americans and in doing so saved millions of Japanese lives.
The demonizing the atom bomb is neither honest nor truthful. Any weapon of war is horrific. The shrapnel that tears out a man's intestines and leaves him dying painfully of a gut wound has nothing merciful about it. What is considered an amoral weapon of war varies from a thousand perspectives. Many campaign against mines. The Germans thought the Americans evil for deploying shotguns in combat while the Allies found German poison gas to be an atrocity. The Japanese had a horror of the flame throwers and the atom bomb and the Americans of the kamikaze and the Bushido warrior uncaring whether he lived or died. None of these weapons are pretty. Their purpose is to kill with the objective of attaining victory.
There are no amoral weapons, only amoral aims. The weapon is neither moral or amoral. It is only a tool. It is he who wields it that truly matters. The gun in the hand of an SS stormtrooper was wielded for evil and in the hand of an American GI for good. The difference is not in the gun but in the man. The German atomic project was evil because it was intended to be used to dominate a world and eradicate tens of millions and enslave the rest. The American atomic project was good because it was meant to put an end to a brutal war, to rebuild both Japan and Germany and bring peace.