Blood on Our Hands? (58th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima)

“One of the great tales of World War II concerns an American fighter pilot named Marcus McDilda who was shot down on Aug. 8 and brutally interrogated about the atomic bombs. He knew nothing, but under torture he ‘confessed’ that the U.S. had 100 more nuclear weapons and planned to destroy Tokyo ‘in the next few days.’ The war minister informed the cabinet of this grim news — but still adamantly opposed surrender.” Nicholas D. KristofBlood on Our Hands? (58th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima) (CNN/NYT)

Kristof’s op-ed piece employs an unusual strategy — he quotes Japanese officials who believe that the American use of atomic weapons actually saved lives because it provided the Japanese with an incentive to surrender rather than drag the war out endlessly.