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Norman Cousins consulted for General MacArthur during the American occupation of Japan. Cousins wrote, "MacArthur's views about the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were starkly different from what the general public supposed." He continued, "When I asked General MacArthur about the decision to drop the bomb, I was surprised to learn he had not even been consulted. What, I asked, would his advice have been? He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor."

Oct 01, 2009 · Was America's use of the atomic bomb against Japan justified

352-358].) (B) It is sometimes urged that there is no record of any ofthe military men directly advising President Truman not to usethe atomic bomb--and that this must mean that they felt its usewas justified at the time.


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When I began the process of revising this essay in July 2014, I knew that this section would be one of the more painful to revisit. Not only was it painful, I spent more time revising this section than any other. Similar to orthodox historians who argue that the , the orthodox position, soon after the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, has been that those atoms bombs saved lives, as they quickly ended the war. A few years later, "War is Peace" in Orwell's , and orthodox American historians have defended the atom bombs ever since 1945 as life-saving weapons, without a trace of irony.