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Argument: Bombing Japan was ethical in context of the horrors of WWII

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Victor Davis Hanson. "Considering Hiroshima." National Review. August 05, 2005 - About a month after Okinawa was finally declared secure came Hiroshima. Americans of that age were more likely to wonder not that the bomb had been dropped too early, but perhaps too late in not avoiding the carnage on Okinawa — especially when by Spring 1945 there was optimism among the scientists in New Mexico that the successful completion of the bomb was not far away. My father, William Hanson, who flew 39 missions over Japan on a B-29, was troubled over the need for Okinawa — where his first cousin Victor Hanson was killed in the last hours of the battle for Sugar Loaf Hill — when the future bomb would have forced Japanese surrender without such terrible loss of life in 11th-hour infantry battles or even more horrific torching of the Japanese cities.

Hiroshima, then, was not the worst single-day loss of life in military history. The Tokyo fire raid on the night of March 9/10, five months earlier, was far worse, incinerating somewhere around 150,000 civilians, and burning out over 15 acres of the downtown. Indeed, “Little Boy,” the initial nuclear device that was dropped 60 years ago, was understood as the continuance of that policy of unrestricted bombing — its morality already decided by the ongoing attacks on the German and Japanese cities begun at least three years earlier.

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