6. August 2011

Eisenhower über Hiroshima und Nagasaki

 Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890 - 1969), 34. Präsident der Vereinigten Staaten,
Offizielles Portrait

"...in (Juli) 1945... Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. ...the Secretary, upon giving me the news of the successful bomb test in New Mexico, and of the plan for using it, asked for my reaction, apparently expecting a vigorous assent.

During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face'. The Secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude..." (Dwight D. Eisenhower, Mandate For Change, 1963, S. 38)

"...the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing."
(Dwight D. Eisenhower, Newsweek, 11/11/63)


naturgesetz hat gesagt…

I suppose one can argue endlessly about whether Eisenhower was right that Japan was ready to surrender. But his words make it clear that the uses of the bomb was not obviously necessary.

Based on the principle of non-combatant immunity, I have long believed that the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were war crimes — the final ones of a war which had already seen similar crimes committed by both sides with conventional weapons.

Morgenländer hat gesagt…


I've been reading a thoughtful pamphlet by the British Catholic philosopher G.E.M. Anscombe these days, "Mr. Trumans's Degree".

Anscombe (1919 - 2001) opposed awarding Truman an honorary Oxford degree. Being no pacifist, she still argued:

"For men to choose to kill the innocent as a means to their ends is always murder, and murder is one of the worst of human actions. So the prohibition on deliberately killing prisoners of war or the civilian population is not like the Queensbury Rules: its force does not depend on its promulgation as part of positive law, written down, agreed upon, and adhered to by the parties concerned.

When I say that to choose to kill the innocent as a means to one’s ends is murder, I am saying what would generally be accepted as correct. But I shall be asked for my definition of “the innocent.” I will give it, but later. Here, it is not necessary; for with Hiroshima and Nagasaki we are not confronted with a borderline case." (reprinted in: The Collected Philosophical Papers of G. E. M. Anscombe, vol. III, Ethics, Religion and Politics. Blackwell, Oxford: 1981, 62-71)

Kind regards