One of the debates over the past few months has been about the use and the ban of torture – or enhanced interrogation techniques – against terror suspects. America’s newfound morality amazes me as a dabbler in history. A sound clip in the Wikipedia entry on the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is of then President Truman announcing the the annihilation of the former. The voice says:
“The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. We won the race of discovery against the Germans.We have used it in order to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans. We shall continue to use it until we completely destroy Japan’s power to make war.”
The estimate of the number of people who lost their lives because of this barbaric act is pegged at over 200000, a major portion of which must be civilians. When Barack Obama says that the ban on torture is necessary to restore America’s moral standing in the world, one wonders which period the President is talking about. Surely not 1945?
P.S.: According to Wikipedia, “Truman has been consistently ranked by scholars as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents.”
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