Atomic Bomb Essay

1500 words - 6 pages

Throughout the recent years of history, there has been an intense debate justifying the use of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima as well as Nagasaki a few days after, but many others argue that it was unjust to use such a weapon of massive catastrophe on an almost defeated nation at the time during the end of World War II: Japan. Ronald Takaki, author of the book Hiroshima: Why America Dropped the Bomb was an avid writer in the terms of Asian-America equality and morals based on his own experiences. In this book, he gave many thorough details explaining plausible reasons as to why Truman decided to launch the devastating attack on an already weak Japan. Takaki has used many sources including ...view middle of the document...

Based on Macarthur’s feelings and reactions, it seems reasonable to believe that America didn’t need to drop the bomb as there were many other ways the war could have been ended with fewer casualties. Other people however will disagree with this such as Lance Morrow of Time Magazine. He states, “Dropping the atomic bomb was the best reason to instantly end the war because it would have helped avoid a bloody invasion and that the bomb would contribute to saving both American and Japanese lives.” What Ronald Takaki did in writing this book, is that he is taking multiple perspectives into this approach and not using his own beliefs and opinions in order for the readers to decide for themselves what they believe is right and/or wrong. Therefore one can disagree with what Lance Morrow claimed because given the facts; the atomic bomb did not save both American lives and Japanese lives equally. Statistics of the casualties in the pacific show that the Japanese have lost more people during the war in the Pacific combined with the atomic bomb fatalities than the a lot fewer American lives in just the Pacific Theater.

Ronald Takaki explains in his book that many skeptics were starting to believe that there were more reasons as to why the atomic bomb had to be dropped on Hiroshima besides “ending the war faster”. When Truman became president, he had a lot more growing issues aside from the war. He feared an emerging threat of Russian expansion in addition to growth in power within Eastern Europe. Truman’s decision was towards a potential arms race that might take place between the Soviet Union and the United States in the near future. Secretary of State of the time James F. Byrnes gave additional details supporting Truman’s cause by saying that having the bomb in America’s custody and then revealing it to the Soviet Union, would help make the Russians more controllable in Europe. Byrnes argues, “The demonstration of the bomb might impress Russia with America’s military might.” This explanation seems more rational than using the bomb just to make the war end faster, because America is a nation that revolves heavily around freedom and protecting that freedom. By demonstrating the bomb on Japan, the Russians would start becoming less bold and not underestimate the strength of America’s military force. This reason was based more on thought than feelings. It seems as if the United States took it to the extreme and really did not want a powerful nation such as the Soviet Union overpowering it.

A true topic in Ronald Takaki’s book Hiroshima: Why America Dropped the Bomb that one can greatly delve into, is emotion vs. logic. This can be applied to many decisions and ideas regarding the use of the weapon upon Japan. The right thing to do is centered on emotion, whilst the smart thing to do is adapted to logic. Truman wanted to use to weapon based on his logical thoughts on trying to avoid an arms race with the Russians and...

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