Japan would not surrender - that was the problem - the dropping of those bombs was necessary - they just would not give up.
The Japanese did not surrender because they had too much honor. Their emperor would not accept defeat and their people would fight to the death. They were not afraid and even after the bombs were dropped they didn't surrender. The Japanese surrendered because of the Soviet's threat to attck them. America was dragged into the war, only after Pearl Harbour - otherwise America would not have been in the war. But I am grateful that America did come into the war, otherwise Australia and eventually surrounding countries would be under Japanese rule. Without the bombs Japan would not have surrendered, keeping in mind Japan started this part of the war.
I can't imagine that scenario ever happening again - unless you get the likes of Mitt Romney who would believe in Armageddon - as did George W. This must never happen again. I do think Iran is years away from making a bomb, I would be more worried about Israel doing something dramatic, they already have the bomb.
"I've read that the Japanese agreed to surrender days before the bomb was dropped.."
I read about the bombing once. The two bombs dropped were also part of the ongoing testing to determine effects. I am not familier with the political details before the bombings, but the literature concerning the weapon developement seems to indicate 'data collection'. Political 'object lesson' or 'demoralization', possibly motivated bt the first Japanese attact, might have felt 'just' to a few in power at the time.
In my opinion, it was revenge-driven and entirely unnecessary - those innocent women, children and elderly, who were vaporized, had no part in Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor.
Just as most Americans had nothing to do with Bush's war on Iraq.
"I don't want any single person ever to be able to "push the button" and generate a fuckstorm of destruction on earth.."
I do remember a conversation from HS concerning the MAD model. It was clear at the time that full nuclear exchange would just about cause our mass extinction and much of the other life on the planet. While I might understand 'why' a full exchange could be considered, I was wondering if the 'first strike/launch' country should be considered the victor, and no responce launch of weapons would be considered. This would insure, or atleast offer some degree of survival for part of the human population and biosphere. Being moralistic about the issue of 'first strike', seems to contain a Faustian bargain of extinction. A lock-out system to control any retaliation strike could be considered, but I expect that such a system would not survive the hawks on both sides. Sadly we are still the quiet victims of nutty.
I've been to a war and survived it.
Before we ban nuclear weapons, think on this: FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ALL OF HUMAN HISTORY, a general nuclear war will result in the destruction of people who profit from war.
The profit-takers' fear of dying is our best insurance against such a war.
The religious crazies among us? Their actions require a different analysis.
In Hiroshima and Nagasaki, doubtless many there profited from the war - how did that benefit those who were vaporized, who just went to work in the morning and brought home a quart of milk and a loaf of bread to their families in the evening?
@ Tom Serbeck - Spot on - people know the results if anybody started a nuclear war - and it just won't happen - Iran, nope. They know that if they dropped a bomb anywhere - Iran would no longer exist - Arms dealers know they and their families could well die, and there goes the fabulous ship they just bought. They will want to keep their money coming in from the smaller arms. It is just good for their business.
It is very big problem if the religious crazies get their hands on a nuclear bomb totally different scenario.
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