At 5:29AM on July 16, 1945 the first atomic bomb was exploded in the New Mexico desert. The world has never been the same since. A movie devoted to the father of the atomic bomb, Robert Oppenheimer is a hit at the box office marking 80 years since that fateful day. Oppenheimer apparently said when watching the explosion,”Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.” Oppenheimer had his regrets, but World War II was finally brought to an end because of his efforts.
The Japanese were a difficult and tenacious foe. They were also brutal and unrelenting. Marines had suffered heavy losses on Iwo Jima and Okinawa in the six months leading up to the dropping of the first bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. The Emperor of Japan Hirohito refused to surrender. He only surrendered after the second atomic bomb was used against Nagasaki on August 9th. This happened on August 15rh.
President Truman made the right decision. Had he not ended the war with the atomic bomb, thousands of American GI’s would have died trying to bring Japan to its knees (it is estimated that 250,000 to 500,000 more GI’s would have died). The Japanese had killed 5000 GI’s using Kamikaze attacks. Another 5000 were wounded in such attacks. The Japanese were willing to fight the war to the very last man. In January of 1945, the Japanese murdered 100,000 non-combatants in the Battle of Manila. This was only one example of their genocide. They massacred 300,000 in 1937 in Nanjing when Japan started its aggression leading up to its joining the Axis. The Japanese murdered 250,000 civilians to avenge aid given to American pilots following the 1942 Doolittle air raid on Tokyo. The savagery towards and torture of American POW’s is well documented. Hirohito’s forces murdered Chinese, Korean, Filipino and Southeast-Asian non-combatants in the millions.
This was the enemy President Truman faced. When Oppenheimer appeared in the Oval Office after Hiroshima, Oppenheimer told President Truman , “I have blood on my hands”. It is said that President Truman handed a handkerchief to Oppenheimer and told him, “Here, wipe it off.” President Truman was one of America’s greatest Presidents. He had a tough decision and he made the right choice given the situation. He made a different decision in 1950 when he was faced with whether or not to use nuclear weapons against North Korea. He decided against doing so but it was a close call.
Although the evidence is sparse, it is believed that President Truman supported the establishment of the State of Israel 75 years ago for a number of reasons including his belief that the Jewish People deserved a Homeland after the Holocaust, it was consistent with his Truman Doctrine which supported the Right of Self-Determination, and his use of the atomic bomb. The latter to make up for the loss of life at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. . He also felt it was the right thing to do. Now 80 years later President Truman has been proven correct on these actions. He is a true American Hero.