According to this Associated Press story (via Yahoo):
Most Americans surveyed in a poll say they do not think any country, including the United States, should have nuclear weapons.
During the Cold War, I would have disagreed strongly with such a sentiment. Without the threat of mutually assured destruction it would have been much more likely that the United States and the Soviet Union would have fought World War Three with advanced conventional arms. Given that WWII killed some 100 million people, a hot war between the two superpowers would have been devastating, not to mention that there is no guarantee that the West would have won.
However, that is not what really caught my attention and what I want to ask all of you about.
Six in 10 people age 65 and older approve of the use of the atomic bomb at the end of World War II; the same percentage of respondents 18 to 29 disapprove.
The argument for the use of Fat Man and Little Boy on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, is that this was the fastest means of ending the war without the potentially catastrophic losses Americans would have incurred by actually invading the Japanese home islands.
Potentially hundreds of thousands of American military casualties averted by the actual deaths of hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians.
Remember, atomic bombs were so new that the radiation and fallout effects were not really understood at the time. As much as a decade later the US was testing battlefield nuclear weapons with troops in the testing area.
The argument against strategic bombing, which, if viewed dispassionately, is overwhelming, had been lost long before, in the Blitz against London and the firebombings of Dresden and Coventry. The enemy was so evil and such a threat that perhaps this was justifiable.
In any case, I was wondering how Boomers feel about the first and so far only use of nuclear weapons in anger, some sixty years later.