Thursday, August 6, 2009

Americans Still Favor The Atomic Bomb

Sixty-four years ago today a single American aircraft obliterated the Japanese city of Hiroshima with the first nuclear weapon ever used in war (three days later we used a second A-Bomb to wipe out the city of Nagasaki), and a new poll by Quinnipiac University finds that 61% of Americans still think dropping the bomb was the right thing to do.

The Quinnipiac poll finds men, Republicans and those over-55 favor the use of the A-Bomb more than women, Democrats or people under 35, going further into the data, the only demographic to say using nuclear weapons was wrong were Blacks, 36% to 34% who said it was the right thing to do. Hispanics supported the use of the bomb 44% to 43%.

Americans still feel that the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved lives. The US military had plans on the table for a 1946 ground invasion of Japan, but they thought it would be incredibly costly - with American casualties of perhaps more than 100,000, while casualties among the Japanese (military and civilian) were projected into the millions. There is also a train of thought though that suggests another reason for using the nuclear bomb was to send a none-to-subtle message to the Soviet Union about how power in the world would be divided once the war was finally over (though the Soviets developed their own bomb just a few years later).

While 61% is still a solid majority, it is a drop from the 85% approval rate that pollsters found among Americans shortly after the war.
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