By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”
Saturday was the grim anniversary of the day that will live
in infamy, when Japan launched an unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbor, with its
death toll of 2,388 American lives.
This, of course, propelled the United States into World War
II, and the battle against the Axis powers and their totalitarian ambitions for
the world led to the loss of over 400,000 American lives by the time that chore
was done. The total casualty count for the United States, by the end of the
war, was over 1 million killed or wounded.
In comparison, the combined death toll for Hiroshima and
Nagasaki was around 250,000 lives.
From a moral standpoint, while a nuclear bomb is a terrible
instrument of war, a bomb is still just a bomb and dead is still dead whether
from a conventional weapon or an atomic blast.
The alternative to dropping Fat Man and Little Boy was a
costly and bloody invasion of Japan itself. Our sobering experience in taking
Pacific islands taught us that the warriors of Nippon would fight to the death
and drag as many Americans to Sheol with them as they could. No surrender, no
retreat. In fact, the last batch of Japanese soldiers didn’t give up the fight
until 1949. One lone Japanese soldier, Hiroo Onoda, didn’t come out of the
jungle and surrender his sword until 1974.
Both Truman and Churchill estimated that the bombs saved the
lives of one million American soldiers and 500,000 British soldiers. These all
were men who thus received the gift of life and the prospect of building
marriages and families and careers after the war was over. The bombs, terrible
though they were, preserved a future for countless American men and brought
husbands home to their wives and fathers to their children.
My own father was one of those men. He served as a medic in
the war, and was on a troop ship headed for Japan when Japan surrendered.
Medics go where they are needed, where the battle is the most intense, and thus
my father would have been at considerable risk if an invasion had been
necessary. I may owe my own life to the military action that brought Japan to
It’s worth noting that the decision to drop the bombs saved
countless Japanese lives as well, both civilian and military. The Japanese
themselves proudly adopted the slogan, “One hundred million [subjects of the Japanese
Empire] will die for the Emperor and Nation.” The loss of life Japan would have
suffered is incalculable.
If the loss of human life is inevitable, which it is even in
a just war, then a respect for the sanctity of human life dictates a strategy
that will reduce the loss of human life to a minimum while accomplishing the
objective of defeating the enemy and preserving liberty. On that basis alone,
the use of nuclearized weapons to end WWII saved countless innocent lives on
both sides and was therefore morally justified.
But it still remains that the United States dropped these
bombs. Is the United States to blame from a moral standpoint?
The salient fact here is that the United States entered the
war to defend American sovereignty when we were attacked by an enemy. This
America had an inalienable and God-given right to do. Nations as well as
individuals have a divine right to self-defense. It is the fundamental
responsibility of our government and our military to protect our lives, liberty
and property from foreign threat, and our political leaders and our men in
uniform therefore fulfilled their moral duty by neutralizing a lethal threat.
Since Japan was the aggressor, and the loss of life in the
war occurred only because of its deadly and unwarranted hostility, Japan must
bear all the blame for the loss of life that occurred in the necessary and
morally justified response of the Allied powers. The entire casualty count in
the Pacific theater, both American and Japanese, must be laid at the feet of the
nation who dropped the first bombs in that war.
So were Hiroshima and Nagasaki terrible, terrible
humanitarian tragedies? Of course they were. Was the United States to blame? Of
course not. The moral culpability for the loss of life, not just in August of
1945 but in all four years of combat, rests entirely with the nation of Japan.
Bottom line: no Pearl Harbor, no Hiroshima.
Meanwhile, 56 million innocent humans have been slaughtered
on our shores through abortion. And the moral culpability for that horror rests
entirely on us.
(Unless otherwise noted,
the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the
views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)