In his Aug. 9 Point of View “A long-needed apology for evil,” Patrick O’Neill said that it’s time for the United States to apologize for the “two most horrific acts of violence ever committed,” by which he means the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing perhaps 130,000 people.
He failed to mention the estimated 6 million to 10 million civilians killed by the Japanese army, including Chinese peasants; the millions of workers forced into slavery such as those conscripted to work on the Burma Railway and who died due to malnutrition, disease and overwork; and the hundreds of small- and medium-scale massacres of Filipino, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean and other civilians.
Let’s not forget the execution of tens of thousands of allied prisoners of war, a number by coincidence about equal to the number killed by the atomic bombs.
It’s hard to see why the atomic bombing of two Japanese cities is even worth notice compared with the extensive genocidal conduct of the Japanese military machine, which, unlike the atomic bombing, had no plausible excuse for the carnage it caused.
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