Ww2 Ethical Analysis

Superior Essays
On August 6th, 1945, the first atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima. Three days later, a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki leading to a grand total of more than 200,000 casualties, 5 out of 6 being civilian. The use of such devastating force on civilians is considered extremely unethical today by numerous organizations and scholars. However, it stands as one of the most applauded decisions in US History for decisively ending World War II. As a society, the United States has readily accepted our devastating World War II actions, but in the modern perspective, any direct attacks on civilians are unethical and objected to. Why is this double standard currently accepted, and what has led to this difference in standards from …show more content…
Although at the beginning of the war there was a public consensus to remain separate from the conflict, the United States was once again brought into war by the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. This attack not only thrust the United States into the war, but also created a culture of extreme patriotism and nationalism. Citizens turned to purchasing war bonds and rationing to support the war efforts. The nation had seemingly united together to support their country and their troops. On the darker side of this nationalism, was a call for revenge. The American public wanted retribution for the attack on Pearl Harbor and this anger affected many decisions involving Japan and Japanese people within the United States. Decades of racial tension with Japanese immigrants erupted into hate and persecution. Inflationary journalism, politicians and military figures all sought to demonize the Japanese people and place them as a target for retaliation. Frank Knox, the secretary of the navy under president Roosevelt during Pearl Harbor held prior beliefs that Japanese people living in America were not to be trusted as early as 1933 when he first called for Japanese internment. However following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Knox was able to further exacerbate xenophobic ideals as a tool to push his agenda. Exclaiming that Japanese citizens served as a fifth pillar, a term used to describe a hidden group of people who undermine a larger group. "I think the most effective Fifth Column work of the entire war was done in Hawaii”(Knox). Later he went on to direct both the president and the FBI that Pearl Harbor was the result of an inside job, in spite of evidence later found to discredit this theory. Knox’s public call for interment however, was fulfilled by his strategic manipulation of the Pearl Harbor attack. Appealing to the nations fear and deep seated racist ideology, knox

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    The bombing of Hiroshima, Japan in 1945 proved to be a controversial ending to the Second World War. There were several reasons why the bomb was dropped, but it still remains that the main reason given to the public was to end the war. However, the US used this opportunity to initiate a sense of power over the Soviet Union in order to discourage the spread of communism. President Harry Truman spoke of this bombing at the White House to inform the American public of his reasoning for this atomic bomb, and how it will be known for much more than “the size of the enterprise, it’s secrecy, [or] its cost.”. The immense amount of destruction and devastation seen by the innocent people of Hiroshima is unbearable to come to terms with.…

    • 1517 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    WWII Was Justified

    • 1495 Words
    • 6 Pages

    “Was the US justified in dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in WWII.” Discuss the benefits and costs that resulted. The horrendous outcomes of World War I (1914 – 1919) truly terrified the whole world. Yet, followed by the war that supposedly ended all wars, the second war began (1939 – 1945). Lasting six years, with more than 60 million casualties, 6 times as many compared to the casualties in WWI. The deaths and the natures of war raises discussions of how cruel and inhumane war is, but it was the atomic bomb used to end WWII that remained controversial over the years.…

    • 1495 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Pearl Harbor Attack Essay

    • 1471 Words
    • 6 Pages

    From overnight united Americans against Japan and probably made possible the position of unconditional surrender taken by Allied Forces. Relations between the United States and Japan had deteriorated rapidly during the last time. When Roosevelt imposed an embargo on exports to Japan of critical materials, the worst was expected. To the extent that the embargo became tougher, the Japanese had desperate more, feeling his rightful place in the world was in judge. why some historians believe that the attack on Pearl Harbor condemned the Empire of Japan the defeat since woke up to the sleeping giant because, regardless of the fuel tanks or shipyards have been destroyed, or that the carriers had been surprised in port and sunk, the industrial capacity of the United States, a once mobilized, he was able to provide lots of resources on stages both the Pacific and the Atlantic.…

    • 1471 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    This marked the first time the war had been brought to United States soil, which devastated the American people. Leading up to the attack, The Empire of Japan had sent diplomatic personnel into the United States in order to discuss diplomatic relations in regards of the war. However, as the United States and Japan were in negotiation, the Japanese forces began their planning to deliberately attack Pearl Harbor which made this act morally wrong, and some would even say cowardice. Pearl Harbor was Japans way of stabbing America in the back, however all they did was awake a sleeping giant. This single, two-hour attack took the lives of over 2,500 Americans and damaged multiple naval ships and aircraft.…

    • 1182 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Not only did hundreds die immediately after the blast but another 60,000 died by the end of the year. The cost and harsh aftermath of bombs are the second reason why the bombs should not have been dropped. Even though the bombs were a great achievement for America, the result of the bombs was seen as a harsh punishment. A quote from the same article says, “but that experience, looking down and finding nothing left of Hiroshima. Hiroshima didn’t exist.” The result of the atomic killed on a massive scale destroyed the city along with its people.…

    • 798 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The President stated that the attack on Pearl Harbor caused severe damage to the country and was another reason why the President wanted to declare war on Japan. In less than two hours the U.S. Pacific Fleet was devastated, and more than 3500 Americans were killed or wounded. In addition to the attack on Pearl Harbor, American ships were also torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu. FDR presented these terrible facts to remind the nation of the losses they had gone through. When FDR states, "I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost" (2), he is evoking emotions of sadness for lost lives and evoking emotions of anger towards Japan.…

    • 1189 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    It became apparent to Emperor Hirohito that defending Japan was futile, as it was up against the devastating power of the nuclear bombs. This helped bring about the end of the war. The second, stronger bomb, Fat Man, was dropped on Nagasaki, but the effect was lessened by the hills surrounding the city. The initial blast killed 45,000 and dealt lethal doses of radiation, causing sicknesses and deaths in the following weeks. Some of the long term effects included leukaemia, and other solid cancers.…

    • 1181 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Atomic Bomb Decision Essay

    • 1095 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Some of the victims was killed by the radiation. Japan believed the worst had ended, but they were truly wrong. On August 9th, 1945, the second atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki which killed forty thousand more deaths of innocent people. Overall, one hundred and thirty thousand people lost their lives because President Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bombs on Japan. The decision divided Americans into…

    • 1095 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The United States, in dropping the bomb, took civilian lives. Historical estimates cite that an upwards of 70,000 lives were taken by the first bomb, and over 30,000 by the second bomb. No matter what the threat was to the United States, the taking of civilian lives is wrong for two main reasons. First, the United States violated a universally understood international law through the killing of civilians. Although there were no formal laws regarding the use of atomic weaponry, it was well known that one of the obligations of war was to preserve civilian lives when at-all possible.…

    • 1300 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Looking at it from a 21st century perspective, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor it was done so on a military base. Japan’s bombing is considered one of the casualties of war as countries during wartime attack each other’s military in order to weaken them. However, the American response was to attack Japan to devastation so that they wouldn 't be able to recover. At this point America had already bombed Japan many times before actually considering the atomic bomb. Using the atomic bomb was rash decision to end the war before thinking of all the casualties.…

    • 1012 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays