To the editor:
President Barack Obama has announced his goal to get nuclear weapons banned worldwide. Since the United States is the only country to have employed nuclear weapons in war, we are especially obligated to prevent their future use.
In May 1945, Nazi Germany had been defeated. By August 1945, Japan’s situation was hopeless. Both Japan’s air force and its navy had been virtually destroyed. Japan lacked food supplies. The Soviet Union was about to declare war upon Japan. The United States had not offered the Japanese the retention of their emperor as an incentive to surrender. Nor did we drop demonstration atom bombs on a sparsely populated area.
The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki may have shortened the war by a week or so, but at a terrible moral cost: the complete killing of civilian populations including many women and children. As commander in chief, President Truman bears the responsibility.
I believe that there is hope. The United Nations could evolve into a world federal government with complete control of nuclear weapons.