Friday, April 8, 2016

Journal 8 - Hiroshima & Logical Insanity - Antonio

Part One: What struck me about the final chapters was how some of the people described their dedication to their country. The book describes how before some were going to die, they felt holy because they were dying in service of their emperor. This was a time when the Japanese emperor was revered as a living god, and there was tremendous honor in giving their life in his defense. A quote that relates this is, "...Dr. Hiraiwa repeated, 'What a fortunate that we are Japanese! It was my first time I ever tasted such a beautiful spirit when I decided to die for our Emperor.'" (Hersey, 115). The take away that this book gave me is that there are always two sides to something. Looking at the bombing from a Japanese perspective teaches us about their culture and their own reaction to the bomb. The reactions ranged from apathetic to hatred, but apathy was the stranger reaction. This quote represents this attitude. "A surprising number of the people of Hiroshima remained more or less indifferent about the ethics of using the bomb. ...Mrs. Nakamura's conception of it... was typical. 'The atom bomb... I don't know how it works, but when the radium is put together, it explodes.' As for the use of the bomb, she would say, 'It was war and we had to expect it.' And then she would add, 'Shikata go nai,' a Japanese expression as common as, and corresponding to, the Russian word 'nichevo': 'It can't be helped. Oh, well. Too bad.'". (Hersey, 117). I most want to remember the individuals in this book. I want to remember that they were human and to appreciate them as human, and whether the bombings were justified or not (which will never be clear), these people that died deserve to be remembered for their sacrifice.

Part Two:
Winston Churchill's shifting positions on bomb use
Military bombing during the second World War was a major subject for leaders of that time. The discussions had two faces, one was their attitude when talking in public and to other political or military leaders, the other was more private and personal. Winston Churchill was more than in favor of using bombs against Germany at the time of this conflict, he fervently pursued the destruction of vast areas of Germany. This reaction was in response to Germany's bombings of Great Britain,  where as before Germany's bombing attacks, Churchill had misgivings on the effectiveness that "terror bombing" would have on the population. According to a quote by Churchill, "...We have seen the combative spirit of the people roused, and not quelled, by the German air raids." (Harmon, 4). This position did change though, because to allow the enemy to destroy your own cities without retaliation due to a moral dilemma the enemy lacks is the basis for "logical insanity".

"Are We Beasts", Christopher Harmon[1].pdf

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