Note: Repost from the old blog.
Or 1 million American lives, plus countless Japanese lives (As if we cared about that!), plus British lives (Huh?).
My late father was quite fond of this one, as he was scheduled to be with the invading force for the invasion of Japan.
This bullshit has become ingrained in the minds of tens of millions of otherwise intelligent, sensible and liberal Americans, like my parents for instance. It’s a bunch of crap. After the bombs were dropped, no one made any efforts to explain the mass slaughter of civilians away with justifications about saving lots of lifes by massacring 300,000 others in a couple of days.
It was only after time went on and questions started arising about the need to drop those bombs in the first place that this choice piece of steaming propaganda crap steak was served up and fed to an American public hungry to have their guilt absolved.
There has long been consensus among historians, including US historians, that the 500,000 lives saved figure is complete nonsense. In fact, when scholars finally got access to all of the secret reports that the US had made on how many US lives were be saved by dropping the two bombs, the estimates concluded that no more than 20,000 US lives were saved by dropping atom bombs, and possibly much fewer, even down to zero.
Keep in mind that the Japanese were getting ready to surrender at the time. The military was devastated, and the nation was in ruins. The army and civilians were both going hungry, and there were shortages of everything. The whole society was near collapse.
The Japanese were negotiating terms of surrender with us, but there was a sticking point in that they wanted to keep the emperor. We said no way, and dropped the bomb. We dropped the second one before they even knew what hit them. Why did we drop two bombs, including the utterly gratuitous bomb at Nagasaki? Because that was all we had – two bombs. As it turned out, we let them keep their emperor anyway.
There is good evidence, knowing the depths of the evil and stinking gutters in which the worms of US imperialism have always slithered, that the bombs were dropped for the most part in order to scare the shit out of the USSR. Many historical analyses have stated that this was indeed the reason for dropping the bombs, or at least a secondary reason.
Considering scholarly consensus on this subject for at least 23 years, it’s incredible that the American people have never been told that the 500,000 figure is a big, fat, stinking lie. “Freedom of the press” and American “democracy”, what a joke.
- Miles Jr., Rufus E. 1985. Hiroshima: The Strange Myth of Half a Million American Lives Saved. International Security. Vol. 10:2, 121-140