Christian theology majors can jaw-jaw all the day long about “just war” and whether a particular conflict is, or is not, “just.” Here on Earth, war is Hell, previously agreed-upon “rules of war” are ignored. Nations do what they need to in order to defeat their enemies. In doing so, those of us with a Calvinist bent are not surprised when men (and women, of course) commit heinous acts.
We dropped the Little Boy on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Demanded that Japan surrender unconditionally. Being stubborn and stupid, they did not. Three days later, we dropped Fat Man on Nagasaki. That one worked; Japan surrendered. Saving countless thousands of Asians (the Japanese were still causing thousands of deaths each week on mainland Asia) and, by some estimates, 2,000,000 Japanese and 1,000,000 allied soldiers, sailors, and airmen during the planned invasion of the Japanese Home Islands.
So, naturally, the deaths at Hiroshima and Nagasaki are considered by the world to be especially bad; far worse than the untold millions killed by the Japanese. Which leads up to the latest phase of the Obama Apology Tour, this time conducted by his (not mine) ambassador to Japan, who for the first time attended a memorial service for the Hiroshima dead.
Should we regret that Japan’s imperialism and aggression and murder led to these bombings? Of course. But let us not lose sight of why the bombs were dropped. We dropped these bombs to save lives. Most especially, to save American and Allied lives. As a bonus, the bombs also saved many, many innocent Asian and not-so-innocent Japanese lives.
Not all are satisfied of course. There are always those who find it easier to blame us gaijin for problems they made for themselves. From the WSJ story:
“While I appreciate that [Obama’s ambassador] Mr. Roos came here today, I don’t praise [the gesture] highly,” said 85-year-old Sunao Tsuboi, the leader of a 50,000-members organization of Hiroshima survivors. Mr. Tsuboi said he was looking for a U.S. apology.
Tsuboi-san, please consult an unbiased history book, and direct your request for apology to the shades of Tojo and Hirohito.