THE TRUMAN DEBATE -Did he scare the Russians?

We are a nation of laws. We do not have the right to break the law simply because we think we are doing history a favor through the obsession to be more aggressive than the enemy. If we exercise the right to demolish a nation simply because we have the ability to do so, we act like Hitler who evidently believed that "might was right."

Did President Truman's decision to massacre unarmed civilians during world war II reflect the Hitler mindset? Hitler said, "After all, the victor will not be asked whether he spoke the truth or not. The stronger is always right."

Are we going to follow Hitle's logic and turn a blind eye to what Truman did simply because we are the victors, or are we going to do what is necessary and right and bring all war criminals to justice, if not in fact, at least in the court of reasonable public opinion?

The innocent people who were kiled as a result of Truman's decision were not soldiers, they were not aggressors, they hadn't killed anybody and they never intended to. They were innocent men, women and children who were unecessarily slaughtered when Truman dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and that makes him vulnerable to the allegation that he is a war criminal.

In many respects, war itself is a crime and if we erase the distinction between tyrants who massacre innocent people and war heroes who sacrifice their lives in the defence of freedom, we evidently sanitize crimes against humanity.

Remember the broken promises of the past, the millions who lost their lives in the defence of freedom during the 'War to end all Wars' and the lives that were sacrificed to defeat Hitler? We should clarify the narrative. We won World War II, not because President Truman dropped nuclear bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshimi but because we ultimately proved to be strong enough to oppose Hitler's unprovoked hostility and aggression.

International law applies to all nations and to all people and we cannot afford to oblitherate the distinction between legitimate defence and unecessary, criminal aggression.

We need to scrutinize our own actions as harshly as we judge the actions of our enemies because war is a last resort, it is not a demonstration of strength.

The arguments of those who claim that the Japanese were determined to fight to the last man and if Truman did not use nuclear weapons, 200,000 Americans and thousands of Japanese soldiers would have died, appears to be a fickle justification.

Truman dropped the bomb, not because he wanted to save lives, but because he wanted to scare the Russians. If the Russians were not allies, Truman would have probably dropped the bomb on Stalin instead of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It appears that Truman wanted to send a message to our allies the Russians, that we did not rely upon them to defeat our adversaries. It appears that the decision to drop nuclear weapons was motivated by the dual obsession to win the war and to simultaneously send Stalin the message that we were stronger than he was.

Unfortunately, it apears as if the message backfired because Truman's belief that dropping the bomb would demonstrate American strength, provoked international insecurity and an arms race which is responsible for the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

If Truman listened to the voices of reason that surrounded him, he would have exercised prudent restraint. As General Eisenhower said, “I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of ‘face’.”

Churchill reiterated Eisenhower's sentiment when he said, "It would be a mistake to suppose that the fate of Japan was settled by the atomic bomb. Her defeat was certain before the bomb fell."

Truman dropped the bomb to scare the Russians, he is ultimately responsible for the disatrous arms race that made the world far more dangerous, and if you have reason to suggest otherwise please post your ideas here !

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