I grew up in Los Alamos and have a deep interest in the atomic bomb story. While that story is one of the most important of the twentieth century, it surely is one of the least investigated and analyzed. From Greg Mitchell at antiwar.com:
What Chris Wallace didn’t tell you on the Fox News special adapted from his new bestseller.
Chris Wallace of Fox News has published his first book, Countdown 1945. It’s about the final days of the run-up to dropping the atomic bomb over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. You might have hoped that it would be a bit contrarian – like some of his interviews and commentary on that network.
Would he question what Robert Jay Lifton and I have called “The Hiroshima Narrative” that has held sway in the media and popular culture since President Truman announced the attack on August 6, 1945? That narrative has insisted that the bomb, and only the bomb, could have ended the Pacific war against Japan and thereby saved hundreds of thousands or even a million American lives.
Sadly, based on the evidence of an hour-long Fox News special, which he hosted this past Sunday night, and on his book – now a national bestseller – the answer is no. The only thing remarkable about Wallace’s arguments are that they offer nothing new, as if no challenging evidence or counter-narratives have been raised over the past 75 years.
Why does this matter today? Among the many issues Wallace failed to mention on Fox: America’s official “first-use” policy, initiated in 1945, which enables any president to respond to a non-nuclear attack or threat by launching our nuclear missiles, remains fully in effect today. The enduring defense of the use of the bomb against two cities in 1945 to “save American lives” can only encourage, or at least enable, possible future use – by the U.S. or any other country. In fact, polls show that large numbers of Americans say they would support a nuclear first-strike in response to a grave danger posed by North Korea or Iran.