Just as the Japanese military had spies at Pearl Harbor, the US had spies in Japan
No doubt 7 December 1941 was in the back of President Truman's mind when he ordered the dropping of the two atomic bombs. One on Hiroshima, and the other on Nagasaki, both purely civilian cities.
There are still unanswered questions as to whether FDR knew the attack was coming or that Churchill warned him 6 months prior to the attack. Or the Japanese ambassador staff that tried to deliver the declaration of war prior to the attack. The abrupt turning off the radar when the first blips started showing up. Or the sinking of a Japanese two-man sub only hours before the attack and the true context ignored by military intelligence.
Just as the Japanese military had spies at Pearl Harbor, we had spies in Japan. Why did our spies fail in their job, or were they and they were ignored.
FDR desperately needed to pull America out of the great depression, war tends to create jobs and paychecks.
Perhaps 7 December this is more about so many young men lost so needlessly. I have listened to lectures from first hand survivors of the attack. Their stories are gut wrenching to hear. Listening to their stories about the horrors is mind boggling. It pains a person to know so many young men died deaths that were hell incarnate.
General Robert E. Lee said it is good war is so horrible, lest we grow too fond of it. But I also know what the atomic bombs did to Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and what the survivors went through and lived with after that. What makes Hiroshima and Nagasaki that much uglier is the fact they were both civilian cities and unrelated to the Japanese war effort or the Japanese government.
The numbers lost at Peal Harbor and the two Japanese cities don't even compare – Japan lost several hundred folds when the balance sheet is finalized. We can rationalize all we want and we have done this so often – but it still remains the second bomb was a vindictive, uncalled for, genocidal strike. We did not listen to the Japanese after the first bomb, in the language of their culture, they surrendered. The Japanese government apologized for the attack on Pearl Harbor. We have never apologized for the vaporization of hundreds of thousands, nor the radiation sickness that killed even more. Nor have we apologized for the second bomb.
To Japan, I, as one person, as one American wish to say this: the first bomb was strictly business. The second bomb, I wholly apologize. It was not necessary and there is no way I can rationalize the dropping of it. It was a terrible thing my country did. I am so very sorry that was done to your women, children and older citizens.
In terms of body count Hiroshima and Nagasaki shows Japan lost far more than we did at Pearl Harbor. But mankind, as a result of Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, lost more than just innocent people. We sold our souls for bigger and more efficient ways to kill in our 'tribal' ways of conducting affairs and our own versions of Lebensraum.
We sold our souls for new ways to point fingers and to put into action disgusting means of dealing with those whose religion, race, and creed are a tad different than ours. From the wrongful imprisonment of innocent Japanese-Americans, to the death camps in Germany and in the jungles of Asia. America, in our dealings with the Native-Americans from 1870 through 1890, was by Hitler's own words, his role model for how he treated the Jews, and how many other leaders, and countries, learned from our own actions. Perhaps Stalin too looked upon the American Indian Wars and thought "This is the correct way".
To the men who survived Pearl Harbor, I have heard your pain. The pain of losing your comrades. The pain of having lost your innocence. And I too shake my head and ask for what purpose. You paid a debt, in full measure, a debt you never owed. I feel your pain.
Let us then mark 7 December as a day when we should be seeking new avenues of resolving differences. Look at the pain and say only: There has to be a better way to resolve our problems. If we don't, then we know what lies ahead for our children and our future generations.