Catching some of the commentary over at Mutant Frog Travelogue.
I like this blog because the guys over there are young strivers, young professionals trying to be witty and have the angle. So many times, they have put a different spin on the same old thing. “If my boss ever reads this, he will be most pleased!”
This week, Roy has one up about the angles that don’t get taken when talking about Hiroshima.
Despite being one of the most famous incidents in all of human history, there is still a surprising amount of speculation, doubt, and conspiracy theorizing regarding the dropping of the atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
I think this is one way to look at it, but I also wonder if the premise holds up. Because I think most people accept that the bombings were just part of the greater Allied war effort, and that between belligerents, life got pretty cheap. This is what happens in a war. The one side starts killing the other, the other, if they can, hit back. And it really just keeps going.
As I posted over there, and probably said here, American warmaking is about production. We divert our economic force into a military one. Even these days, borrow from our military rivals like China to finance our dubious foreign incursions.
The war against Japan was the epitome of this war as production of force. When it came to the Home Islands, we simply kept bombing them into submission. As Penn’s Walter MacDougall pointed out, the atomic bombs were a more efficient use of the firebombing strategy that America had been using on Japan for several months before. Except, instead of needing hundreds of planes and tons of weaponized gasoline (napalm, an invention of duPont and Esso), the destructive force could be delivered in one thermonuclear blast.
It never fails this week that the discussion of the morality of war pops up. People who want to make the point that a lot of immorality occurs in war open with the question, “where the bombs moral?” (Remember, in lawyering, controlling the question often means whether you succeed or fail.) The next step usually goes to something else. Not whether the bombs were moral, but were they justified? And then, there is what Roy points out, the parade of theories and alternatives. This is what this week in August turns into. Maybe every 5 years in America.
I really just wonder that the survivors in Hiroshima, and those who came later, simply want to tell their story in this season. They just want to tell a human story.