“A short time ago, an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima and destroyed its usefulness to the enemy.”
Today, I can only see those as callous, uncaring words, though I have to recognize that in 1945, the man reading those words over the radio couldn’t have realized the extent of what he was reporting. An entire city in Japan was cremated. Seventy-thousand people were instantly vaporized, with another 60,000 dying in the following months.
Yesterday, the people of Hiroshima marked the 62nd anniversary of what Radio Tokyo described on Aug. 8, 1945 as, “Practically all living things, human and animal, were literally seared to death.”
There has been a good deal of discussion about nuclear weapons of late here in Washington. One of the presidential candidates said using these weapons against America’s enemies in Afghanistan and Pakistan would be a “profound mistake.” And I agreed with him, until another candidate reminded me that those same enemies could very well end up with nuclear weapons of their own, which they would no doubt try to use against us.
If it were up to me, nuclear weapons would cease to exist on this planet. But that’s not the reality. As a rationally thinking adult, I understand the threats that exist today: there are people on this Earth who would just as soon annihilate every living being on one side of the globe or the other.
Still, I can’t figure out which is worse: wanting to murder millions of people in a terrorist attack involving an atomic bomb, or willingly accepting the fact that the day may come when we have to use these awful weapons again, albeit in a hopefully limited capacity.