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The War Was Won Before Hiroshima—And the Generals Who Dropped the Bomb Knew It

Gar Alperovitz

Seventy years after the bombing, will Americans face the brutal truth? Gar Alperovitz writes this article for The Nation citing numerous military personnel who voiced their opposition against the necessity of dropping the bombs to end the war. Read the article on The Nation.

History is rarely simple, and confronting it head-on, with critical honesty, is often quite painful. Myths, no matter how oversimplified or blatantly false, are too often far more likely to be embraced than inconvenient and unsettling truths. Even now, for instance, we see how difficult it is for the average US citizen to come to terms with the brutal record of slavery and white supremacy that underlies so much of our national story. Remaking our popular understanding of the “good” war’s climactic act is likely to be just as hard. But if the Confederate battle flag can come down in South Carolina, we can perhaps one day begin to ask ourselves more challenging questions about the nature of America’s global power, and what is true and what is false about why we really dropped the atomic bomb on Japan.