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Barking up the wrong tree

Robert Farley (via Majikthise) says that the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki cannot be justified by claiming that they brought about Japanese surrender:
I do think it's important to note, however, that forcing a Japanese surrender DOES NOT justify the bombing of Hiroshima. By August of 1945, Japan had no capacity to hurt the United States. The IJN was largely destroyed, and the air force was grounded. The United States could do with Japan what it would. Moreover, it was clear to us then and is clear to us now that the Japanese had been talking and thinking about surrender since April, and indeed would probably have accepted the terms that we later imposed upon them (maintenance of the Imperial institution, minimal war crime prosecution, continuance of most of the bureaucracy). The best that can be said of the Hiroshima attack is that it catalyzed the Japanese decision to surrender in August, rather than in October or December. It's remarkable, given the debate in the United States about the use of the atomic weapons, how uncontroversial this conclusion was in 1945. Neither the Navy nor the Army Air Force expected that an invasion would be necessary, even without the atomic bomb. The Army and Marines prepared for an invasion, but in 1945 expected far fewer casualties than the numbers that were later used to justify the atomic attacks.
I can understand why right-wingers don't have a problem with Hiroshima. What I can't understand is why liberals continue to try to rationalize what is unquestionably the worst act of terrorism in history, the unprincipled and unwarranted slaughter of innocent civilians.

Give it up. It was wrong, and pretending otherwise only adds to the shame.

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