It is the 65th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where two civilian cities were unnecessarily vaporized for the glory of the Amerikan Empire.
The usual talk of "it saved [insert large number here] of American and Japanese lives" is nonsense of course. The arrogant imperialists in the Roosevelt and Truman Administrations refused to accept the very modest terms of Japan's surrender (namely, restoration of their Emperor as head of state), and instead insisted on UNCONDITIONAL surrender.
So Hiroshima and Nagasaki (and Tokyo, and hundreds of other Japanese cities) burned. The result: a country in ashes, and the restoration of their Emperor as head of state, and the establishment of U.S. military bases and nuclear weapons going on six decades now.
So if it wasn't about ending the war, why were the atomic bombs dropped? The most likely theory, in my opinion, is that President Truman wanted to intimidate and impress the Soviet Union with military might.
Or that American Presidents tend to be evil and cowardly chicken-hawks who order other, better men to commit mass murder for them. It's probably a combination of both.
L. Reichard White at the Antiwar.com blog also brings up some points that I bet you didn't hear on the "news" media:
At 8:16 on the morning of August 6, 1945, the world got a glimpse of its own mortality. At that moment, the city of Hiroshima was obliterated by a fireball that sent waves of searing heat, then a deafening concussion, across the landscape. Three days later, a second bomb hit Nagasaki. … [President Dwight D.] Eisenhower said in 1963 "It wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing."
… Besides the Manhattan Project’s internal momentum was an external motive. Its leaders had to justify the $2 billion ($26 billion in today’s dollars) expense to Congress and the public… Byrnes…warned Roosevelt that political scandal would follow if it [the atomic bomb] was not used. … "How would you get Congress to appropriate money for atomic energy research [after the war] if you do not show results for the money which has been spent already?" …the U.S. had produced two types of bombs–one using uranium, the other plutonium. Whenever anyone suggested that the moment the bomb was dropped the war would be over, [bureaucrat] Groves countered, "Not until we drop two bombs on Japan." As [historian] Goldberg explains… "One bomb justified Oak Ridge, the second justified Hanford." Hiroshima was hit with the uranium bomb, nicknamed "Little Boy"; the plutonium bomb, "Fat Man," was used against Nagasaki.
From Why We Dropped The Bomb By William Lanouette, CIVILIZATION, The Magazine of the Library of Congress, January/February 1995
It’s hard for Americans who identify with the U.S. Government to accept the idea that that organization could have engaged in such horrendous acts – twice in three days – without pristine motives.
Here’s what Vietnam era U.S. Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara – who was part of Gen. Curtis LeMay’s command when the bombs were dropped – thought about it:
It seems things haven’t changed much, doesn’t it?