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Sunday, August 05, 2007

On August 6, 1945 We Dropped The Bomb: Harry Truman Told Hiroshima They Deserved It

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The anniversary of the first use of an atomic weapon is August 6 and there are some hoary old papers preserved in the archives at the Truman Presidential Library about the wartime Democratic president's dismissive response to civic leaders in Hiroshima, Japan. They made the mistake of complaining in 1958 about his decision to drop an atomic bomb on their city.

Hiroshima was flattened on Aug. 6, 1945, and Truman -- never one to mince his words -- wrote the Japanese they deserved exactly what they got:

"The need for such a fateful decision, of course, never would have arisen, had we not been shot in the back by Japan at Pearl Harbor in December, 1941. And in spite of that shot in the back, this country of ours, the United States of America, has been willing to help in every way the restoration of Japan as a great and prosperous nation."

That was Truman on March 12, 1958. He never apologized, never looked back.

His typewritten statement released on the day of the bombing in 1945 is in the archives, too. There is not a single mamby-pamby sentence in the document. Instead, it expresses the vengeance of a nation at war against an enemy it was determined to annihilate. Truman said the bomb was built under pressure and without failure, and vowed to use it again and again until the Japanese capitulated.

"We are now prepared to obliterate more rapidly and completely every productive enterprise the Japanese have above ground in any city. We shall destroy their docks, their factories, and their communications. Let there be no mistake; we shall completely destroy Japan's power to make war."

That was President Harry Truman giving them hell on Aug. 6, 1945. He knew war was hell. And he meant what he said: "The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the Far East."


  1. Bill,

    Consider posting this... I didn't have your email to send it to you.



    This Friday, everyone needs to call their Congressperson's home office (since they're on recess) and express their outrage over this FISA bill. Let them know how we feel. If they voted the right way, tell 'em good job. If they didn't, tell 'em what you think.

    It's not hard. Go to or and find your Senator or Representative, and look for their contacts. It takes 2 minutes or less. And it takes about that long to call, or you can find a comment form on their site if you would rather do that.

    We have to make our voices heard.

  2. Truman was a monsterous war criminal and if there were any justice in the world he would have been tried and hung.

    If you watch the Fog of War. Robert Macnamara talks about how we fire bombed paper and wooden cities. Japan was already signaling that it wanted to surrender. How many innocent people did Truman kill?

    That's a tough question because many people are still dying from it. That kind of radiation and use of WMDs is disgusting. FDR had positioned our war ships into their waters and provoked an attack to get us into WWII. The American people would've never supported going to war until the "surprise" attack.

  3. Dear Anon, 11:47 am

    I don't buy into the theory that FDR allowed the attack on Pearl Harbor to get us into WWII. I don't agree that Harry Truman was a war criminal.

    I am sory that the bomb was used. Given the context of the times, and a war that was raging in the Pacific, it is hard to see how he would have decided otherwise.

  4. I didn't say he knew about the attack although there is some veidence to suggest he may have. He did do things that instigated an attack because he wanted to get into the war.

    He was a war criminal and most of there cities were already fire bombed and they were sending messages about surrender. The US was insisting on unconditional surrender. Of course in the end it wasn't unconditional, we allowed them to keep their emperor etc.

    Truman wanted to send a message to the world that not only did we have the bomb, but we're crazy enough to use it on civilian populations.

    They could've dropped it in the water and sent the Japenese a message don't you think?

    Good to see you active again!