Friday, August 10, 2012

Thank God for the Atom Bomb

At the risk of belaboring the point, I invite you to read this essay by cultural and literary historian, college professor and World War II combat veteran Paul Fussell on why the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were right and necessary.
In it, Fussell, who died last May at the age of 88, points out that those who argue the U.S. should not have nuked the Japanese never experienced combat – the kind of slaughter that would have occurred in the planned invasion of the Japanese homeland in November, 1945.
Put simply, they fail to grasp the zeitgeist – the spirit of the times.
“Understanding the past requires pretending that you don't know the present. It requires feeling its
own pressure on your pulses without any ex post facto illumination,” he wrote.
Fussell had a bellyful of combat as a lieutenant in the 103rd Infantry Division in France, was wounded and earned the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He and his unit were scheduled for deployment to the Pacific when the obliteration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the war.
If you have any interest in the debate, I urge you to read the whole thing.

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