Siebert is executive director of Project Ploughshares ( based in Waterloo, Ont., which conducts policy research on defence and foreign policy. claims to the contrary, these actions were neither justified nor decisive in Japan’s surrender.He is also a former diplomat who was posted to the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D. Halliday, a former member of the Royal Canadian Air Force, community college teacher and a curator at the Canadian War Museum, has written, co-authored or compiled numerous articles and books on general Canadian history and the military. For centuries there have been generally agreed principles on when a war is just and how that war can be fought.When these soldiers, devastated by these and other poisons, returned to their homes in Europe and North America, they shocked the conscience of the general public.
The historian Paul Fussell said something like this in "Thank God for the Atom Bomb," a famous essay published in the in 1981.
After tut-tutting John Kenneth Galbraith and others who have suggested that the bombings were neither morally justifiable nor militarily expedient, Fussell points out that "what's at stake in an infantry assault is so entirely unthinkable to those without the experience of one, or several, or many, even if they possess very wide-ranging imaginations and warm sympathies…
The military utility of nuclear weapons persists, in part, because of the misplaced belief that their use ended the war in the Pacific in 1945. HALLIDAY Somebody had to stop the killing —but who and how?
Since 1937 Japan had been continuously at war, first with China and eventually with Britain and the United States.
JOHN SIEBERT We know that the saying, “all is fair in love and war,” is not true. The use of atomic bombs violated these principles: excessive force was used to defeat the enemy; the direct targets were civilians and non-military installations; and the damage caused by radiation poisoning at the blast site and in the surrounding environment was neither limited nor contained.
There are limits to what is acceptable in war because it is in all our best interests. Even before the bombs named Fat Man and Little Boy were dropped on Japan, the devastating blast effects and radiation poisoning were understood.
The United States acted against this protocol when it subjected Japan to the known effects of widespread radiation poisoning. When Japan surrendered after the bombings, the need to invade and take Japan by force ended. Documents written by high-ranking Japanese military and political leaders in early August 1945 convincingly show that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the previous carpet bombing of 66 other Japanese cities, were not the reason Japan surrendered. Ward Wilson, Senior Fellow and Director of the Re-thinking Nuclear Weapons project, sums it up this way: “Japan surrendered because the Soviet Union entered the war.
Some still argue that the use of these atomic weapons, even if regrettable, was justified because it shortened the war in the Pacific and saved the lives of many U. Rather, the Soviet Union’s declaration of war against Japan and its invasion of Japanese-controlled territory on Aug. Japanese leaders said the Bomb forced them to surrender because it was less embarrassing to say they’d lost to a miracle weapon. And the myth of nuclear weapons was born.” The myth continues to this day.
[Truman] But the truth is that it doesn't matter what the motivation was.
The indiscriminate targeting of civilians in warfare is always evil.