As an American, I value the freedom to disagree. In his Sept. 13 letter (“Impossible to justify killing 225,000 civilians”), Adam Zieser is critical of President Truman’s decision to use the atomic bomb. He makes assertions not supported by the facts.
Assertion: Japan was ready to surrender before Hiroshima. In July 1945, the United Nations threatened Japan’s destruction. Radio intercepts revealed that Japan had closed all schools, armed civilians, accepted 28 million military volunteers and had aircraft parts assembled in homes.
Ketzu-Go — This Japanese Defense Plan tells Japanese intent. With 93 airfields and 12,725 aircraft in waiting, the Japanese planned to strike the Americans at sea. Two thousand suicide bombers would strike when the task force was 150 miles off shore. Following, 300 more planes would fly every hour. Along with the aircraft, Japan had 50 submarines with torpedoes that could hit a target 20 miles away. They planned to sink 800 ships and force a retreat.
Assertion: Conventional war best. Americans planned to reduce every Japanese city to rubble. While Japan fought Americans, Russians were ready to occupy Japan’s northern provinces and declare victory. Costs? Millions dead? Japan is no more?
Mr. Zieser charged me as a nationalist. I expect to be tried by utopian tyrants and condemned as a patriot forever grateful to Americans who fought in defense of freedom permitting Mr. Zieser to disagree.
Have you heard of Pearl Harbor? My cousin, Junior Haffner, is there, under water on the Arizona.
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