Jeremy Keeshin Choiceless Choices When a Democracy is at War Response to the Atomic Bomb Reading The atomic bomb

. The sheer thought of an instrument of war so powerful is bone chilling. To think that a radioactive gadget constructed by scientists of uranium and plutonium released in the sky could completely vaporize a whole entire civilization is frightening. The magnitude of the atomic bomb is unbelievable. This was a problem that the United States of America did not understand when it was about to make that decision. Harry S. Truman, the successor to Franklin D. Roosevelt speedily approved the usage of the atomic bomb. He made a speech saying how he realized the weight and significance of his decision but it is apparent that this is not the case. It does not seem apparent that he realized that his decision would wipe out the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and kill hundreds of thousands of people and forever scar countless more with radiation. Maybe he did realize it, but was so entranced by the persuasions of Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson at the time that he did not take the time to process it. Truman’s motives seem questionable and rushed. What were his motives when dropping the bomb? His real motives. Was it to disable the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Was it to send a message to Japan telling them in a rather harsh way to watch out? Was it a message to the rest of the world that the United States was a superpower with the weapon of a superpower, the atomic bomb? Was it a message to the Soviet Union specifically? Was it a message to all these people? Truman’s decision seemed too swift for the scale of what he was about to do. Roosevelt died April 12, 1945, Truman became president, and then only four months into office dropped the most devastating scientific weapon in war that the world had ever seen. Shouldn’t he have needed some time to mull it over? Shouldn’t he have needed some time to consult with the scientists at Los Alamos who were turning a blind eye to the destruction their science would cause? Wasn’t one enough? In an ideal world, the answers to these questions would be yes; but in an ideal world, there wouldn’t be war. In reality, none of these things happened. The rapid decision to drop the bomb helped its supposed goal of quickly ending the war. But this goal would have come naturally without this interference. Blockades and such would have caused an end to the war only a few months later. Truman was impatient. Or was Truman trying to make a showcase of his and the countries power? If the bomb was not needed to end the war, what was it needed for? To pointlessly kill? The statement Truman made altered the course of twentieth century warfare. He catalyzed the world into the Cold War, into a state of nuclear brinksmanship, where any movement could cause an apocalypse. The dropping of the bomb encouraged the nuclear production of the United States to continue as well as encourage the bomb production of the Soviet Union to begin. April 6, 1945 and April 9, 1945 were showings of American strength, not American morality. The United States proved once again that it would take its current objectives over the well being of the globe any day of the week.