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WWII Atomic Bombs

When the atomic bomb went off over Hiroshima on Aug. 6th, 1945, 70,000 lives were ended in a flash. To theAmerican people who were weary from the long and brutal war, such a drastic measure seemed a necessary,even righteous way to end the madness that was World War II. However, the madness had just begun. ThatAugust morning was the day that heralded the dawn of the nuclear age, and with it came more than just the lossof lives. According to Archibald MacLeish, a U.S. poet, "What happened at Hiroshima was not only that ascientific breakthrough . . . had occurred and that a great part of the population of a city had been burned todeath, but that the problem of the relation of the triumphs of modern science to the human purposes of man hadbeen explicitly defined." The entire globe was now to live with the fear of total annihilation, the fear that drove thecold war, the fear that has forever changed world politics. The fear is real, more real today than ever, for theease at which a nuclear bomb is achieved in this day and age sparks fear in the hearts of most people on thisplanet. According to General Douglas MacArthur, "We have had our last chance. If we do not devise somegreater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at our door." The decision to drop the atomic bomb onJapanese citizens in August, 1945, as a means to bring the long Pacific war to an end was justified-militarily,politically and morally. The goal of waging war is victory with minimum losses on one's own side and, if possible, on the enemy's side.No one disputes the fact that the Japanese military was prepared to fight to the last man to defend the homeislands, and indeed had already demonstrated this determination in previous Pacific island campaigns. Aweapon originally developed to contain a Nazi atomic project was available that would spare Americanshundreds of thousands of causalities in an invasion of Japan, and-not incidentally-save several times more thanthat ...

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