Hiroshima Day

On Au­gust 6th, in 1945, the world saw the first use of atomic weapons against hu­man tar­gets. On this day 63 years ago, hu­man­ity lost its nu­clear virginity. Un­til the end of time we will be a species that has used fis­sion bombs in anger.

Time has passed, and we still haven’t blown up our world, de­spite a close call or two. Which makes it difficult to crit­i­cize the de­ci­sion—would things still have turned out all right, if any­one had cho­sen differ­ently, any­where along the way?

Maybe we needed to see the ru­ins, of the city and the peo­ple.

Maybe we didn’t.

There’s an on­go­ing de­bate—and no, it is not a set­tled is­sue—over whether the Ja­panese would have sur­ren­dered with­out the Bomb. But I would not have dropped the Bomb even to save the lives of Amer­i­can sol­diers, be­cause I would have wanted to pre­serve that world where atomic weapons had never been used—to not cross that line. I don’t know about his­tory to this point; but the world would be safer now, I think, to­day, if no one had ever used atomic weapons in war, and the idea was not con­sid­ered suit­able for po­lite dis­cus­sion.

I’m not say­ing it was wrong. I don’t know for cer­tain that it was wrong. I wouldn’t have thought that hu­man­ity could make it this far with­out us­ing atomic weapons again. All I can say is that if it had been me, I wouldn’t have done it.