posted on Aug, 7 2009 @ 04:40 PM
One thing that this thread points out, regardless of your opinion on the use of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, is a surprisingly
widespread ignorance of history. Before anyone (or everyone) gets up in arms about my use of the word "ignorance", allow me to say that I'm using
the word in its literal, not its pejorative sense. It's difficult to have a reasonable discussion about the rights and wrongs of events when a
surprising percentage of the people trying to have the discussion don't have a clear understanding of the events. I've seen it put forth in this
thread that the U.S. used the nuclear weapons on Japan after the Japanese surrendered, and that the devices cracked the Earth's crust...and
unfortunately for my blood pressure, a few minutes running web searches led me to a number of sites stating these things as fact. Even quicker
searches (or a simple technique called "paying attention in history class") can demonstrate that both claims are false, but they are *believed* by a
certain percentage of the population.
I think the most frightening thing (for me, at least) is that a combination of ignorance and historical revisionism could easily lead us (not just
'us, the United States', but 'us, as in the entire human race') down the same path that lead to the last Great War.
Let me toss out a pair of quotes, both from George Santayana, that are germane to this entire discussion:
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
(From The Life of Reason, Volume I)
"Before you contradict an old man, my fair friend, you should endeavor to understand him"
Before passing judgment on President Truman, General Tibbets, or any of the other 'old men' who made that decision, try to understand them.