Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Why the Bomb was Dropped

In 1995, ABC News looked at the decision to drop the atomic bombs on Japan. 2015 was the seventieth anniversary of the end of WWII, and the remembrance of the atomic bombings was given much attention in the media during August that year. 

Twenty years earlier, on the fiftieth anniversary, it was still controversial in America to question whether the decision to use the bombs was necessary. 

WWII veterans protested strongly against any historical revision, and they won the support of members of Congress and much of the public. Twenty years later this reluctance to question the decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki seemed to be diminishing. 

In spite of the influence of WWII veterans in 1995, ABC News produced a one-hour special report that year that asked most of the uncomfortable questions that much of the American public didn’t want to hear. 

From the perspective of twenty years later, this report is a remarkable example of the mainstream media doing the job it is supposed to do. In this age of 24-hour cable news and reduced attention spans, it is difficult to imagine that such a report would be broadcast on a corporate news program.

Published on 9 Aug 2015
Today marks the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. While the conventional narrative claims that the gruesome event led to the capitulation of Japan and the end of WWII, new evidence suggests that the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not decisive. 

What implications does this have for the strategy of nuclear deterrence and the value of nuclear weapons in modern geopolitics? 

Oksana is joined by Ward Wilson, senior fellow at the British American Security Information Council, to look at these issues.

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