X-Message-Number: 18067
Date: Sun, 02 Dec 2001 23:07:17 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: More Comment on Nukes

I should say at the outset that I'm not trying to promote the use of 
nuclear weapons, yet I will again raise the question whether their use is 
always the greater evil. Matthew Malek, #18058, writes:

>Subject: Comment on nuclear weapons
>Dear Mike,
> > nuking Japan in 1945 is generally thought to have saved millions of
> > lives by ending WWII even if many thousands were killed.
>Keep in mind that many historians have concluded that this is _not_ true.

Maybe I should have stated it more conditionally--"widely thought" perhaps.

>Remember that Germany's Third Reich fell in May of 1945.  The atomic bomb
>was not dropped until August 6th, 1945 (8:15am JST).  At this point, it
>was pretty clear that the was with Japan, the remaining Axis power was on
>its way to completion, even with only conventional weaponry.

What I've always heard is that Japan was prepared to fight almost to the 
last breath against the U.S. if it invaded--Hitler's defeat 
notwithstanding--and the Japanese were very tough and determined opponents 
in the confrontations that did take place. Thus the war might have dragged 
on for years longer and indeed cost millions more lives. That the USSR, by 
indications, would have joined in too no doubt was a factor in the decision 
to try to end the war quickly, but it doesn't seem the only one to me. Then 
too, not granting this "foot in the door" to the communist USSR might be 
viewed as a justifiable policy against this expansionist, totalitarian system.

>Thus, it is highly doubtful that millions more lives would have been lost
>in the atomic bomb had not been deployed.

"Is highly doubtful" seems too strong a judgment to me. It's hard to be 
that sure. No doubt both sides of the issue have been argued at length.

A final thought is: granted, the nuclear bombings in 1945 were horrible, 
frightening events that shocked the world. But if they hadn't happened when 
they did, would a full-blown nuclear exchange have occurred later, between 
opponents less conditioned to avoid this particular evil?

Hoping most fervently for peace, love, and harmony worldwide,
Mike Perry

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