Hiroshima: The Bombing that Blasted Away the Truth
For the United States, World War II was a very costly war that seemed as if it would not end. For the United States to end their assault on Japan during World War II, a nuclear bomb was dropped in Japan to force them to surrender. On August 6th, 1945, the U.S. military dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima killing over 150,000 people and (along with the later bombing of Nagasaki) effectively caused the Japanese to surrender. This tactic is highly polarized in the international community; on one side, it is considered to be justified and the only action for the United States to take, and on the other side, it is considered ...view middle of the document...
Berger includes these descriptions in the essay because he wants the essay to show what was done to the victims of the bombings and show all of the destruction that happened.According to Berger, these violent scenes should “provoke a sense of outrage” in the international community (320). These passages display a sense of horror to the readers as to what destruction the bombings caused.
After thoroughly depicting the violence of the atomic bomb, Berger focuses on the premeditation of the bombings. He states that the world was “shocked and surprised” about the bombing of Hiroshima and thought that it must have been a mistake (319). However, Berger insists, the whole bombing was “consciously and precisely planned” with the intention of achieving the destruction that it did (319). The fact that this event was so detailedly constructed only supports that it is terrorism. In the article, “Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki Told by Flight Member,” the author, William Laurence, describes the detailed plan behind the dropping of the bomb on Nagasaki, including the scientific “beauty” that went into the technology of the bomb, the briefings of the plan, and the process of delivering the bomb (Laurence, 387). These premeditated plans that Laurence describes, Berger uses to convince that the bombings were acts of terrorism. This is proven, once again, because the definition of terrorism requires that the act be premeditated.
Berger writes about how in these detailed plans, civilians were knowingly targeted to be hit. He implies that the victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings were “unselected and innocent” (320). If the targets of these bombings were purely military, they would just be considered conventional acts of war; however, since the majority of the casualties were civilians, the bombings were terrorism. Berger designates this aspect of the bombings as the “immorality of terrorism” and the reason it upsets people (319).
Berger’s final point as to why the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima are acts of terrorism is that the fact that the act was done by a more powerful state actor to a weaker state actor does not matter. He describes that typically, during the time the essay was written (and still true today), acts of terrorism are often done by a weaker group to a larger, more powerful group. In the case of the nuclear bombings, the scenario is flipped; the most powerful alliance in the world attacked a much weaker country (320). This contrast, however, does not negate that it’s still an act of terrorism.A common counterargument to this claim is that because the act was perpetrated by a state actor, it cannot be considered terrorism. It’s argued that a violent act can only be accepted as terroristic if it is done by a non-state actor: this claim, however, is illogical. The type of actor that commits the exploit is negligible to the act that is being done and should not have any bearing on whether it is considered terrorism or not.
At this point,...