By Dennis Kucinich
Seventy years ago this week, the United States ushered in the age of nuclear terror by dropping atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing an estimated 200,000 and injuring another 100,000 who would eventually succumb to their wounds or radiation poisoning. At the time, the American public was led to believe that the bomb helped end the war and “saved lives.” This was never true.
As commemorations occur around the world to reflect on the bomb and its centrality to our past and present lives, it is an appropriate time to ask, “Was the use of nuclear weapons against civilians necessary for victory in Japan?”
There is a trove of information revealing that many senior U.S. military officials believed the bombs were not needed to end the war in the Pacific. President Truman approved of Hiroshima and Nagasaki’s destruction, but many of the top-ranking brass, from Douglas MacArthur to Chester Nimitz, knew better.