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Unjust Cause: Historian Gar Alperovitz on the decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki

In this conversation with journalist Andrew Cockburn, our co-founder Gar Alperovitz, author of The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and the Architecture of An American Myth, discusses the use of the atomic bomb in light of President Obama’s recent trip to Japan:

Here’s what I think happened. Not knowing whether the bomb would work or not, the top U.S. leaders were advised early on that the Russian declaration of war, combined with assurances that the emperor could stay on in some titular role without power, would end the war. That’s why at Yalta [the February 1945 summit between Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill] we desperately begged the Russians to come in, and they agreed to come in three months after the German war ended.

U.S. intelligence early on had said this would end the war, which is why we sought their involvement before the bomb was tested. After the bomb was tested, the United States was desperately trying to get the war over before they came in… Read full article.

Publication date: 2016-05-24
Parent publication: Harper's Magazine
Publication URL: http://harpers.org/blog/2016/05/unjust-cause/

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