ready to take up arms against any invasion of their homeland. So these
are not innocent bystanders.
Unfortunately it took two atomic bombs for the Japanese to stop fighting.
That shows their tenacity.
I think it is time that you put the many years of fighting in Europe that led
up to WW2 and the War years themselves in perspective. The culmination
of the war with Japan by use of the atomic bomb is but one myopic part of a
very long and brutal conflict between many nations and involving the loss
of millions of lives.
The use of the atomic bomb was extreme. Now the world knows the
destructive and devastating power it contains. And lessons seem to
have been learned from it. Every arm-chair quarterback can easily sit
back and take aim at things that happened while they were safe and
sound from the war. But that is the point, they were not in the thick
of things or in harms way when the decisions were made.
What happened, happened, and we should all be thankful that we
were on the winning side and be thankful for all those men and women
who helped to put us in that position. I am and you should be too.
When the RAF under the command of Arthur "Bomber" Harris was engaged in the terror-bombing of German cities, the US specifically (and with few exceptions) chose instead to target miltary targets such as munitions factories; this was completely in-line with the teachings of the Church regarding Just War Doctrine.
The US knew the difference between bombing soft and hard targets quite well.
During the firebombing of Tokyo in March of 1945, waves of B-29s loaded with napalm flew in at altitudes of several thousand feet and dropped them on the city. The aircrews in the planes flying later in the raid described hitting a wall of heat and having their planes thrown forcefully upwards from the heat blast. They could smell burning FLESH in the planes. www.themilitant.com
If one does not have a problem with this, I simply don't have enough patience to argue the point. If someone does not believe that the Catholic Church forbids such actions under the strongest possible terms, then that person has nothing more than an abstract idea of what Caholicism is.
Marianne, anyone who has had an immediate family member who served in that war is going to have their views influenced by that person; this may or may not be your situation. I believe that when the last family member of the last WWII veteran dies, the country will be able to discuss our actions in that war with candor, because then we will be discussing the subject analytically, and not emotionally.