Were the Allied Forces right to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima?
Hiroshima was a shipbuilding and manufacturing centre, but it was largely a civilian population, so the question that really needs to be addressed here is, was America and the other allied forces correct in dropping a weapon of mass-destruction on a civilian population? The humane answer must be no, especially when one considers the following protocols from the Geneva Convention: civilians are not to be subject to attack – this includes direct attacks on civilians and indiscriminate attacks against areas in which civilians are present. If we accept the protocols of the Geneva Convention then clearly Hiroshima and Nagasaki could be viewed as war crimes.
We will never know what would have happened if these events did not occur, perhaps it is true that many other lives were saved as it resulted in ending the war. However, it has resulted in immense suffering by subsequent generations as the incidence of cancer in both of these cities is markedly higher than the Japanese average.
Questions that continue to affect me, as there is no answer to them, are: why were Hiroshima and Nagasaki chosen when there were other possibilities that would have posed less threat to civilian populations; why was the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki only three days after the first one was used on Hiroshima; why didn’t the allied forces give more time to the Japanese authorities to declare their surrender before dropping a second atomic bomb; and why are the current generations of people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki now so accepting and welcoming of overseas visitors, especially Americans?
The most important thing to learn from this period of history is that such weapons are cataclysmically destructive and should never be used again. All stocks of nuclear weapons should be destroyed – immediately.