Recently, our nation observed the 70th anniversary of the horrific bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.
As a child, I was taught that we dropped those bombs to end the war and avoid additional bloodshed. I later learned, however, that Adm. William Leahy, President Truman’s chief of staff, had said: “The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender.” Gen. Douglas MacArthur, too, reportedly said that he saw no military justification for dropping the bomb.
Recent letters to the editor have suggested that our use of atomic weapons was justified by prior Japanese military atrocities. But did slaughter inflicted by the Japanese justify the slaughter inflicted by our military on hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians?
The Pentagon would have us believe this legend to perpetuate our unquestioning trust in their wisdom and to continue our unquestioning funding of their bloated budget. How many other Pentagon “legends” are we expected to believe?
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Does anyone still believe that the war in Vietnam actually preserved our democracy? Or that the war in Iraq was fought to eliminate weapons of mass destruction?
As a U.S. combat veteran, and no longer a child, I urge us all to question our misguided Pentagon funding.