Part 1 C. When the atomic bomb was unleashed by the United States on two cities in Japan, the act ended World War II and caused incalculable human anguish. This historically momentous event gave rise to questions regarding how wars will be fought in the future, the viability of the human race as a whole and, as this discussion will address, if the horrific bombing of these two cities was justifiable. Questions regarding the bombings are multifaceted.
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Was the use of an atomic bomb the only alternative to secure the surrender of Japan or could the U.S. have allowed the one concession Japan requested, to retain its emperor as head of state, and avoided the catastrophic destruction of predominantly civilian inhabited targets? Did President Truman authorize the bombing solely as a means to put an end to a bloody, prolonged conflict and to ultimately save both American and Japanese lives due to an impending invasion on Japan’s homeland or was the decision based on assuring that the Soviet Union would not have a say in post-war Asia is it had in post-war Europe? Finally, even if it is assumed that the first bomb dropped on Hiroshima was necessary and justifiable, was the second bomb on Nagasaki justifiable as well?
For those that condone its use, the moral questions are satisfied because, though many thousands were killed or maimed, the bomb saved many more thousands of lives on both sides. If, in fact, the use of the atomic bomb averted an invasion of Japan thus saving more lives than were lost in the bombing of Hiroshima, the moral dilemma is indisputable. However, even for those of this opinion, the issue regarding the morality of the second bombing remains in dispute.
This is not sufficient justification for others who believe the use of the bomb was wrong given any criteria of moral judgment. Deliberately attacking a civilian population is not considered morally acceptable regardless of any real or perceived outcomes.
Part 2 C. The ‘60’s era was instigated by events in the U.S. but affected the entire industrialized world. No other decade or era in the past century witnessed the massive social or cultural upheaval that occurred during this tumultuous time. The assignations of John Kennedy (1963), Robert Kennedy (1968) and King (1968) shocked the country. Bobby Kennedy held the promise of continuing John’s legacy of hope and change but was killed while campaigning for the presidency.
Prior to his death, he helped calm the outrage felt in the black community following the assassination of King, still regarded as the most important of all the civil rights leaders of the 1960’s. Racial tensions were at a peak and the death of King could have easily set-off mass rioting in the major cities of the U.S. but Kennedy helped pacify the black communities therefore avoiding a catastrophic situation.
1968 lives in infamy as the deadliest year for American troops in Vietnam. Universities became the focal point for massive youth demonstrations. Students organized rallies to decry the military involvement in Vietnam and the bureaucratic school and governmental system believing both were tyrannical and were exercising more power than was their right. Students marched, gave speeches in front of thousands of supporters and held ‘sit-ins’ in defiance of authority.
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By 1968, protests on campuses across the U.S. became the norm and at the Democratic National Convention that year, the violent clash between protestors and police was televised nationally. Just two years later four students were killed by national guardsmen at Kent State University in Ohio during a peaceful protest as cameras rolled. These and similar occurrences shocked the nation which led to a softening of college policies and contributed greatly to the end of the war.