The Bomb

Alice commemorated the 59th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima by posing the question: “Was it worth the human sacrifice?”.

She then spends the rest of the post evading the question.

She suggests that it might require a parallel universe to find out; reminds us that real wartime decisions are always made with limited information and uncertainty; discusses the total non-sequitur of pacifism (as if that were the only alternative); and finally declares that we shouldn’t ask the question at all but should just feel bad for the victims.

She also states that:

If someone had a better idea to end the war than dropping the atom bomb on Hiroshima, I’ve never heard of it.

I suggest that if this is true, she didn’t search very hard (if at all).

David Beito at Liberty & Power links to two these two articles about the decision that do suggest that there were better alternatives.

I certainly understand the desire to justify decisions that our side made, and I don’t really blame Alice for wanting to. Especially when we were on the right side of a good fight with brutal enemies; and also because many today look for every opportunity to blame the west in general, and America in particular, for things that are justified.

But, it seems to me that it’s a mistake to evade passing harsh judgments on our country’s mistakes. It gives ammunition to our enemies that we are hypocritical and lack credibility when passing judgments on others. But, mostly, because recognizing our own mistakes is vital if we are to improve and adopt better and better theories.


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