Today is the 72nd anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. I grew up in Los Alamos, New Mexico and my father spent part of his career doing above ground atomic tests in southern Nevada (it might have killed him; he died of prostate cancer). From Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe and 34th President of the United States:
“…in [July] 1945… Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. …the Secretary, upon giving me the news of the successful bomb test in New Mexico, and of the plan for using it, asked for my reaction, apparently expecting a vigorous assent.
“During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of ‘face’. The Secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude…”
– Dwight Eisenhower, Mandate For Change, pg. 380
I share Eisenhower’s opinion, which is why I’m posting it.