65 years passed since Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.
The discussion is still raging on the ethics of atomic bombings: Was it necessary? Should USA apologise or was Japan itself guilty? Were there better ways? Was it moral?
Imho both sides: those who are "for" the bombings (i.e. "bombing were okay, it saved a lot of lives") and those who are "against" (i.e. "bombings were a crime, USA should have done sothing else"), usually are missing some (important) points...
Those who claim that it wasn't necessary and instead of bombing cities US should have made a demonstration of the new found power on some inanhabitable land are obviously not thinking clearly. How do they imagine that?
"Hello Japan, on this date we will totally nuke this wasteland. Go, have a look and maybe you will consider surrendering.". How would you expect Japan to react? "Ok, show us what you've got?". Oh rly? That's silly. Somehow I think far more expected reply would be from Japan to try and stop this "demonstration" from happening... by deploying more flak's in the vicinity, more interceptors (aircrafts), puting some american POW's in the "proposed" wasteland.
Or another argument: it was immoral and inhuman for US to drop atomic bombs on civil objects... Well yes, it was. But, you know what - war is pretty immoral. And totally inhuman. Hamburg bombing was immoral. And inhuman. Tokyo bombing was immoral and inhuman too. They were no less impressive than bombing of Hirosima and Nagasaki (though they required far more work (= far more dropped bombs)). Well, in that (moral) light atomic bombings were nothing principally new - only some more efective weapons were used.
Should or shouldn't America have dropped the bombs? Well maybe yes... then maybe no... But after the fact everybody is soooo clever - it is far harder to make (correct) decisions before the fact. Maybe US leaders could have made some better decisions - we will never know it. They did what they thought was their best option. That's it.
But, then there are those, who claim, that atomic bombing were absolutelly necessary to force the Japan to surrender... Otherwise there would have been inmeasurably bigger losses of human lifes (millions!!!), because japanese were totally crazy, like... you know... zombies in Resident Evil...
Well, I don't buy that. One should only have a look at some history (or at least have a look at something like this timeline)...
Obviously atomic bombings were a factor in the surrender of Japan - to ignore that would be (and is) stupid.
But that does not mean that Japanese were some mindless subhuman creatures - at least I think that most of them were perfectly sane people, only with some pretty weird (looking from western viewpoint) notions about honor and their country.
Even before tha atomic bombing Japan was already ready to surrender. At least four months before bombings (probably even earlier), japanese government was looking for possibilities to do that. Japan was ready for it, their only request was that surrender would not be unconditional - to be more specific, their main request was that emperor Hirohito should have retained (at least formally) his position as a leader of the state. Those who are claiming that bombings were absolutely necessary somehow are ignoring this "small" fact. Let us repeat it: Japan was looking for a possibility to surrender. They only requested, that it would not be unconditional.
Bearing in mind this fact we should point out that, well, despite all the declarations to the contrary, surrender of the Japan was in fact not unconditional - Japan put forth some conditions and these were accepted: Hirohito remained (at least nominally) in power, he was never tried for war crimes (unlike leaders of Nazi Germany).
And then lets put the things into perspective:
Japanese were aware that they are loosing the war. They were trying to negotiate the conditions of surrender with USA. To no avail.
Then Japan tried to do that through Soviet Union (by this point they know, that soviets will join the war against Japan). Again - no luck. But, (obviously) US intelligence knew about these contacts between Japan and soviets. And (obviously) US was not to fond of the fact that japanese might surrender to soviets (considering the fact that namelly Japan was USA's main enemy in the WWII). That meant (and it was explicitely stated by US oficials), that US should have forced Japan to surrender, before Soviet Union joined the war, using any means available.
But how do you do that? Well, simple: you drop the bombs oh Japan.
AND after that you accept conditions proposed by Japan of their "unconditional" surrender.
There, you have it*.
So: were the bombings absolutelly necessary? I'm remain to be convinced.
In my opinion probably Japan would have surrendered even without them, considering that Soviet Union has joined the war and invaded Manchuria... and Japans main condition for surrender was accepted. Would that had cost milions of lifes like proponents of bombings claim? I doubt it - as I alreay said Japan was looking for a possibility to surrender. After losing Manchuria Japans situation would be catastrophic, only very slight concessions probably would have been be needed from the side of coalition for Japan to surrender.
But there remains the possibility, that if atomic weapons were not used Japan would have surrendered to Soviet Union. And that was absolutely unacceptable for USA...
And in my opinion exactly that is the main reason for atomic bombing (and I'm not blaming USA for that - far from it, - one should only have a look at the fate of the Eastern Europe to understand why).
* And yes, I know I have simplified it a lot.