Hiroshima bombing still misrepresented by government propaganda

August 13, 2012

I was initially elated that a letter writer had remembered the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ("The atomic age turns 67,"Aug. 9).

But elation turned to disappointment as the author went on to recite the myth, perpetrated by Harry Truman and Gen. Leslie Groves, that "100 million Japanese were prepared to fight to the death to defend their homeland," and that "most historians believe that President Harry Truman made the correct decision to use these weapons."

Japan was defeated, and there was no need to drop atomic bombs. The bombs were used, despite the wishes of many of the Manhattan Project scientists, solely in order to show the Soviet Union that the United States had added a powerful new weapon to its arsenal.

Compounding the cruelty of Truman's decision was the fact that Japanese civilians were chosen as guinea pigs by a U.S. government intent on testing the two different types bomb — one plutonium, the other uranium.

If the past is a gauge for decisions today, we must know our history and recognize government propaganda. It is astonishing to me that any letter writer would endorse such blatant propaganda after all this time.

Sadly, the Obama administration continues to refuse to close down the nation's nuclear arsenal. Instead the president wants $85 billion in taxpayer dollars to refurbish that arsenal.

On Aug. 6, Hiroshima Day, two atom bomb survivors spoke in Baltimore and called for the abolition of all nuclear weapons. They exhibited no malice. Instead, they simply said "never again."

Max Obuszewski, Baltimore

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