When was the last American land invasion?

Atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki : Murder remains murder, even in war

There is no morality in war. Every scruple is sacrificed to the goal of wanting to win. The end justifies the means. One hears such sentences a lot.

When American President Harry Truman gave the order to drop atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, he wanted to hasten the end of World War II. That succeeded. On August 15th, Emperor Hirohito announced the unconditional surrender of his country. The war was over, a land invasion by American troops, with potentially long and costly battles on both sides, avoided.

The attack by Japanese fighter planes in December 1941 on the US naval base in Pearl Harbor triggered the entry of the United States into the war. The dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima ("Little Boy", as the bomb was called, on August 6th) and on Nagasaki ("Fat Man" on August 9th), in which more than 200,000 people were killed, ended the war It was the first and last use of nuclear weapons in a military conflict in human history, and it is the 74th anniversary of this.

In the US, the act is regrettable but necessary

In May 2016, Barack Obama became the first incumbent American president to travel to Hiroshima. It was a courageous and long overdue gesture of reconciliation. But he neither apologized for the act, nor did he call it a war crime. Because to this day the use of nuclear weapons in the USA is regrettable, but necessary.

Are there no morals in war? Are all means allowed? Such a view contradicts both the universal validity claim of ethical norms and the common judgments about acts of war. If everything is allowed, there is no difference between a rifle shot and the use of bacterial or chemical warfare agents. The bombing of an apartment building in which there are supposedly hundreds of residents as well as an opposing soldier should then cause as little indignation as the torture of children in order to force their parents to give up. The examples show that moral judgments are also made about acts of war. A distinction is made between permitted and prohibited

During World War II, Great Britain, France, the United States and Russia waged a just war against the so-called Axis powers Germany, Italy and Japan. The aggressors were defeated, tyrants overthrown, and the surviving concentration camp inmates freed. The Allies had the right to war (ius ad bellum), which, however, is independent of the law in war (ius in bello). This means that an aggressor can fight “cleanly”, while a legitimate defender can commit crimes, for example through the use of weapons of mass destruction.

The perseverance of the Japanese should be weakened

The prohibition of murder always applies under all circumstances, even in war. An innocent person must never be intentionally killed. In the event of war, civilians are innocent. To kill them on purpose is to have wanted them to die. So this death is not collateral damage, the unintended side effect of another, militarily necessary action, but the desired result of the attack itself. The residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were supposed to die to weaken the Japanese will to persevere. The atomic bombing of these cities was therefore a war crime.

The area bombing of the city of Dresden in February 1945 was also a war crime. At that time, too, civilians were deliberately killed. The German Luftwaffe had begun these crimes, and on September 1, 1939, just hours after the start of the Second World War, it flew the first bomb attack on an inhabited city. The Polish Wieluń was almost completely destroyed. Rotterdam, Coventry and many other cities followed. War crimes committed by Germans are legendary.

But Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were also wrong. Does that diminish the joy that the right people won the war? No. Does it detract from gratitude for the Allies to have liberated Europe from fascism and Japan from militarism? No.

The lesson is: there should be no war. But if he is, people should remain people. Even when guns speak, conscience must not be silent.

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