’Racist crimes against humanity’?

Published: 7/31/2020 11:26:20 AM

In his recent My turn column in the Recorder, E. Martin Schotz used the above description for the American nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, during World War II. While I agree with many of Dr. Schotz’s opinions, I must emphatically disagree with his founding premise.

This country did not attack Japan; Japan attacked the United States. The words “Remember Pearl Harbor” are burned into our memories. Our response was to defend this country to the best of our capability, losing thousands of soldiers, sailors, and airmen as we fought back against the aggressors in that sneak attack.

As our troops fought their way across the Pacific, the unwavering defense by the Japanese of every island that they occupied made it absolutely clear that they would never surrender their homeland. Our military experts estimated the number of Americans who would die in attempting to invade Japan and found it horrifying.

The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had one purpose: to save those American lives – and the decision to drop the bombs ended the war. If we had instead continued to fight conventionally, the blood of thousands of Americans would have stained forever the hands of the decision-makers. Rather than condemning them, rational Americans owe them unwavering gratitude.

John P. O’Connor


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