Yes, it had devistating effects - but most things in war do!
Like police who killed the man who used his child as a human shield our main crime is doing what it took to win a war and save ourselves and others.
This wasn't debated on American streets when I was a child - it was simply a fact!
WE DROPPED THE ATOMIC BOMB BECAUSE WE WERE AT WAR AND WANTED TO WIN!
Now too bad we can't still want to win - a blog I read recently said it would be a lot easier to win this war if we didn't have our left hands tied behind our backs!
During WWII we used both hands and feet!
Victor Davis Hanson has this great post on NRO.
Now on to the post:
Yes, I proudly say Thank God! Yes, America is the only nation to ever use atomic weapons! And you should thank your God as well - no matter where you are from! (Yes I mean you - you EU weenie!)
Although there are many on the left who claim that the use of this weapon was not necessary (let alone developing Atomic weapons in the first place) looking at the truth in the history will show that it's use was not only justified, warranted, but was a humanitarian move on the part of the United States.
The death toll from both weapons is estimated at about 260,000. Hardly sounds like a humanitarian move but lets look at just a few facts -
Hardly ever mentioned are the bombings of Tokyo which took the lives of over 83,000 during the fire bombings in March of 1945. This is more killed then were killed at Nagasaki. (American involvement in WWII)
The Battle of Okinawa is distinguished among battles, yet often unrecognized when referring to the great battles of the Second World War. Over 250,000 people lost their lives. Approximately 150,000 Okinawans, about a third of the population, perished.(1) At the battle's end, somewhere between a third and half of all surviving civilians were wounded.(2) No battle during the Second World War, except Stalingrad, had as massive a loss of civilian life. The stakes were high. The Japanese, determined to fight to the last man, almost achieved their objective, but in defeat 100,000 Japanese combatants died rather than surrender.(3) In the end, fewer than 10,000 of General Mitsuri Ushijimas's Thirty-Second Army were taken prisoner.(4) (Military History Online)
From the invasion of China in 1937 to the end of World War II, the Japanese military regime murdered near 3,000,000 to over 10,000,000 people, most probably almost 6,000,000 Chinese, Indonesians, Koreans, Filipinos, and Indochinese, among others, including Western prisoners of war. This democide was due to a morally bankrupt political and military strategy, military expediency and custom, and national culture (such as the view that those enemy soldiers who surrender while still able to resist were criminals). (Freedom,Democracy, Peace; Power, Democide, and War)
Casualties were expected to be extremely heavy. Admiral William Leahy estimated more than 250,00 killed or wounded on Kyushu alone. General Charles Willoughby, Chief of Intelligence for General Douglas MacArthur, estimated American casualties from the entire operation would be one million men by the fall of 1946. This was considered, by many, to be a very conservative estimate. (The End of WWII by Haile H. Jaekel )
Keep in mind that the Japanese were determined to fight to the last man - person more accurately. Civilians, men, women, and children were all preparing and training to repel the invaders.
Harry Truman said in defense of, WHY I DROPPED THE ATOMIC BOMB. "It was a question of saving hundreds of thousands of American lives. You don't feel normal when you have to plan hundreds of thousands of deaths of American boys who are alive and joking and having fun while your doing your planning. You break your heart and your head trying to figure out a way to save one life. I made the only decision I knew how to make. I did what I thought was right. I still think that". (The End of WWIIby Haile H. Jaekel )
Another option would have been accepting a conditional surrender from the Japanese. The allies had early on decided that a conditional surrender was unacceptable for many reasons. Throughout history conditional surrenders are rarely successful in the long term - take the recent Gulf War and Saddam's 12 years of failing to live up to his agreement. With the millions killed by the Japanese and German bankrupt societies over the course of less then 15 years these governments could not be allowed to remain in power.
Short and long term results were very impressive.
In the short term Millions of Japanese were saved, more then a million American and Allied servicemen were saved, and millions of innocent civilians were saved from the Japanese death camps (something China still hasn't forgiven the Japanese for - see this story about Japanese/Chinese soccer match this month.)
Long term, prior to 1945 humans had managed to build up quite a track record of death! We had an ever increasing death toll in war that had built up year after year to a historic high of approximately 10 million people per year ! Let me repeat that - estimates are that nearly 60 million people died in World War Two with nearly half of these being civilian! (Western/World Civ. Surveys; Modern Irish History;Anglo-Irish relations; Modern Europe)
Just one more time for the record - NEARLY 60 MILLION PEOPLE DIED IN WWII, THAT IS NEARLY 10 MILLION PER YEAR!
Following the end of WWII the annual world death toll dropped dramatically, averaging about 1 million per year - in ALL wars, civil, ethnic cleansing, etc. One of the major reason for this drop and stagnation were atomic weapons and the policies that were implemented by the nations that controlled these weapons. (Death Toll from Disasters, War & Accidents)
So the next time someone cries out that the US is the only country to ever use atomic weapons - proudly tell them they are right and they should thank God we did. FYI the population in 1935 was about 2.1 billion @ 10 Million per year for the past 65 years is 650 million (650,000,000) people -- just under a third of the entire population of the world in 1935! There are just about 6 billion people alive today! In my mind these lives were well worth the cost of the cold war, wouldn't your favorite liberal agree?