'Joy and gladness' at HiroshimaSaturday is the 60th anniversary of the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. There will be much debate about whether or not the dropping of an atomic bomb on a large urban center was justified. This essay is not about addressing that question.
What's interesting is this. Some people say that Japanese foreign policy provoked the Hiroshima bombs. I've seen the odd bumper sticker that reads, "If there hadn't been Pearl Harbor, there wouldn't have been Hiroshima."
Yet if you say, "If the US hadn't meddled in other country's affairs, there wouldn't have been 9/11," those same people will go apoplectic with rage. They will accuse you of being an apologist for terrorists. This even though there is an obvious difference between explaining the cause of something and justifying it.
Either actions have consequences or they don't. People need to make up their mind.
But on one board I frequent, a man argued:
The Japanese got exactly what they deserved. They started wars, treated people with a brutality only rivaled by Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot, they treated life as if it was expendable for over a decade. These people want to claim to be victims of nuclear attacks? I don't think so. We should be proud of these attacks on Japan. They saved millions of lives, ended a brutal war and in fact helped protect Japan from total destruction. We might not like nuclear war but in this case it was completely and totally justified. Let's remember this anniversary with joy and gladness [emphasis mine] and let's pray that we never see such a brutal war again.
As I said, I am not going to argue whether the atomic bombs should have been dropped. That's another debate. And the Japanese regime was brutal by any standard.
It's one thing to argue that dropping the two atomic bombs were necessary. It's one thing to argue that they saved American lives and ended the war sooner. But at least have the decency to say it was "unfortunately necessary."
To be "proud" of the deaths of millions of innocent civilians, to remember their deaths "with joy and gladness," this is profane and despicable by the standards of any civilized human being.