August 6, 2013 marks the 68th anniversary of the first use of an atomic bomb, and August 9th the last. Japan did not surrender for five days after Nagasaki was bombed, during which time the Soviet Union declared war and the Americans conducted additional, conventional firebombing raids on a Japanese city. Emperor Hirohito was asked to break a deadlock in the imperial cabinet that had blocked an unconditional surrender up to that point.
To this day, Harry Truman is viewed by ardent critics as a war criminal and the United States is deemed as being stained by a sin as indelible as slavery. In fact, last November, a "documentary" on Hiroshima and its aftermath produced by Oliver Stone was shown on television and, as might be expected, it presented the standard apologist's take on the history surrounding Truman's decision to use nuclear bombs. To quote Stone from an interview he gave to the Stanford Daily earlier this year, his production was intended to "cause Americans to rethink your history ... because you're not the indispensable, benevolent nation that we pretend to be." He might have gotten his facts straight before making such an arrogant and ignorant comment, but as we know from his past works, facts seem to get in the way of his agenda.
the Japanese military knew long before atomic bombs were used that the war was lost. Why else resort to kamikazes in a last-ditch effort to dissuade the Allies from invading and to force a resolution short of absolute surrender? They could have surrendered long before they did but that was never a serious consideration, if it was a consideration at all. Even at the end, after Hirohito broke the deadlock in his cabinet, some military officers attempted a coup, to place him under house arrest and prevent the nationwide broadcast of his prerecorded statement advising his subjects that the Japanese nation had no choice but to "endure the unendurable." One key reason Hirohito's cabinet had deadlocked in the first place was because some of its members from the military considered the effects of the two bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as being no worse than that of conventional incendiary bombing on other Japanese cities, including Tokyo. And there was a genuine fear that, if the Japanese people found out that their government was negotiating the terms of surrender with the Allies, the government might face a popular uprising. One only has to consider the nation's history to understand why this was a real concern.
lol @ folks who think we were in the wrong.
the Japanese military attacked first. we attacked last.