A matter of perspective

I grew up reading Hiroshima. Lots of liberals did. We bemoaned the horror of it all and felt bolstered by the nearly universal condemnation of the event. Only my dad, as he told me long after the Bombs which went boom when I was 4 years old, was quite happy about it.
My dad did not hate the Japanese. He’d play golf with Japanese men as long as they were not his age – those guys had tried to kill him.
But as a young Marine shipped to Tientsin, China after many battles through the Pacific, ready to leap off into the invasion of Japan predicted to create one million U.S. casualties, he was greatly relieved when Japan surrendered.
A difference in perspective.
For my part, despite my sympathy for the Hiroshima Maidens I read about in Saturday Review and my understanding of the monstrosity that those bombs visited upon really innocent civilians, I wondered if the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs were any worse than the horrendous fire bombing of Japanese cities packed with wooden houses or German cities where fire storms devoured whole blocks along with the residents or the phosphorus bombs that stuck burning jell on humans that would be extinguished only when submerged in water. Rivers were filled with painfully burned victims who burst into flames when they stepped out of the water. Officials, unable to find a remedy, went around shooting them in the head.
What is the perspective here? Do we check to see if one of those heads bobbing in the water emitting screams of agony was a member of the Nazi Party? Years ago on the radio a woman was asked to imagine a Russian family sitting with the father watching television; was she OK if an atomic bomb went off over their heads? “Is he a Communist?” was her reply.
A matter of perspective.

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