Fields: Three Cheers For The Enola Gay

Guest Columnist

Sam Fields 

August 6th is The Red Letter Day for the historically ignorant and the morally arrogant.

On that day in 1945, with the okay from President Harry Truman, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.  A few days later he ordered a second bomb to hit Nagasaki.
Together the bombs killed 200,000.
On August 15, the Japanese unconditionally surrendered, thus ending a war that had killed over 50,000,000 soldiers and civilians.

Dropping those bombs have been controversial, with many foolishly claiming it was unnecessary.
The latest person to denounce the bombings is South Florida Archbishop Thomas Wenski.

While conceding that “perhaps they ended the war, the Archbishop nevertheless proclaimed that the use of atomic weapons violated “moral norms.

Wenski is the 2010 winner of  my “Historically Ignorant and Morally Arrogant Award.
Was there an alternative to the nuclear option?  Absolutely.  It was called Operation Downfall and it was scheduled to begin no later than March 1, 1946.
It called for the Allies to institute a series of sea invasions of the home islands of Japan.  Each larger than the Normandy Invasion.  Each larger than the last.
Based on the casualties from island fighting, it was expected that American losses would be between 500,000 and 1,000,000.
Japanese losses were expected to run 10,000,000 plus.
Why? It was the Japanese military code of Bushido which means “the way of the warrior.
There would be no surrender.  Opposing soldiers that surrendered were weaklings who were made into slaves.
The local population was available for target practice, slavery and rape. The most glaring example of Bushido was the 1937 Rape of Nanking where the Japanese Army murdered 300,000 in three days.
Only Wenski and his ilk can construct a moral principle that sees a plan that ends a war with 10,000,000 dead is more acceptable than one that ends that war with 200,000 dead.
Maybe it comes from his beloved Bible a book filled with stories celebrating genocide, rape and ethnic cleansing?  Exactly what did the folks in Jericho do to justify their mass murder?
Maybe it comes from the Bible’s final chapter The Book of Revelation. That paragon of Jesus’s love looks forward to an orgy of killing and torture in the billions?
Maybe that’s how you can keep a straight face instructing others in morality when you represent an institution that has a murder rap sheet longer than you arm.
It is therefore with all humility that I humbly award you, Archbishop Thomas Wenski, the Historical Ignorance and Moral Arrogance Award for 2010.

12 Responses to “Fields: Three Cheers For The Enola Gay”

  1. the legal scrivener says:

    The difference is not in numbers but in innocent civilian casualties vs. soldiers.

  2. Politico says:

    My Dad was a WWII Navy vet, who served in the Pacific theatre, Mariana Islands, Invasion of Guam, Invasion of Saipan, aircraft carrier escort duty, and Islands Hopping Campaingn of 1944 – l945.

    Let’s face the real fact regarding the A-bomb. If the US wouldn’t have dropped it to stop the war, a large percentage of us baby boomers wouldn’t be here today.

    They don’t make that old time model, like my Dad, anymore. Those guys saw real blood and guts. We see the sanitized version for the 6:30 news.

  3. Broward Lawyer says:

    A life is a life, civilian or military. Truman saved lives by making a tough decision.

  4. NK says:

    I don’t necessarily agree with Sam on this one but I think that the moralizing over the dropping of the bomb ignores other realities of World War II.

    Please also remember that the Allies bombed Dresden, killing 25,000 civilians over a few days.

    The Allies bombed Hamburg in 1943, killing roughly 50,000 civilians.

    The Allies bombed Pforzheim in Germany in 1945, killing 18,000 civilians.

    I point out only these allied bombing raids in Europe and not the Axis atrocities to point out that these strategic bombing attacks were by the GOOD GUYS in the war.

    The concept of strategic bombing of civilian targets was intended to demoralize the enemy, and force a surrender rather than have troops killed in the field.

    It was a horrifying concept then and it is still today.

    Dropping the atomic bomb “broke the seal” on the age where we realized we could destroy the world so I can understand the debate over their use.

    But from a military strategy standpoint, they were not different than the Dolittle raids on Japan or the other strategic attacks on civilians throughout the war.

    It just took fewer munitions to achieve the same result.

  5. Switch says:

    Sam. Your point about the war is dead on. Your hypotheses on the Bible show you to a commentator on something you know little of as well. Sounds like Fields calling the Archbishop a potkettle if you ask me.

  6. Mister Courthouse says:

    Sam makes a good point on WWII and ruins it as usual with unwarrented attacks on religion, the Bible and Catholics.

    You have become a bore, Sam. On second thought, you have always been a boring man trying to joke your way out of a sad life and attacking those who have faith for no reason other than to make you feel better in your empty life.

  7. justme says:

    I’m almost ashamed to say this, but even though I think he’s a goofball, Sam’s absolutely correct. Since we’ve been outed as the “GOOD GUYS” with the bombings of Dresden and others, take a look at the BAD GUYS.’

    Beyond the hundreds of thousands of civilians that the Japanese killed, look at the Nazis. Yes, we all know the 6 million Jews that were slaughtered, but we also forget another 6 million Catholics, Gypsies, Poles, and other “undesirables” that went up in smoke with them.

    And how many Brits were killed in the V-1 and V-2 attacks? Roosevelt was more than willing to nuke Berlin had the weapon been ready, but it wasn’t. The real question is, how many lives would have been spared had Berlin and Tokyo been nuked in 1943?

    A good guess would be 10 million since the concentration camps only began the mass killings about then.

    Too bad we can’t take all of today’s apologists and drop them in the middle of a real war carried on by mass murderers and see how long it takes for them to turn and demand revenge rather than surrender.

  8. Don says:


    Truman never actually ordered the bombing of Nagasaki. Nagasaki was a target of convenience after problems with the actual target and a secondary taret.

    The bomb,”Fat Boy,” was dropped on the teory of why waste a trip but it was the straw.

    I recall being at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio and seeing a long line of Japanese tourist lined up to take photos in front of the B-29 Bock’s Car, the plane which dropped the Fat Boy bomb on Nagasaki. At that point the Enola Gay was still in restoration.

    I also recall that the scene struck me as odd, lining up to take pictures of that plane. It seemed almost like lining up to get a snap with the garbage truck that ran over your cousin.

    By the way, I agree with the award.


  9. Floridan says:

    I think one can recognize the necessity of dropping the bomb and still regret that necessity.

    In point of fact, there was a third option – a “seige” of the Japanese home islands by the U.S. Navy. The Japanese relied on imports for almost all their needs; cutting them off from their sources of fuel, raw materials and foodstuffs would lead to inevitible surrender.

    However, the American people and government wanted to bring the troops home, and once the Russians invaded Japanes-occupied China and took a larger role in the Pacific War, it was important to the post-war strategic balance to end the war and occupy Japan with American troops.

  10. Rastas says:

    I don’t share Sam Fields’ loathing for religion, but I think the Roman Catholic Church’s frequent moral lapses during World War II deprive it of any right to comment now on what should have been done then. If Mr. Wenski wants to judge the immoral actions of the past, why not start with the actions, or lack thereof, of his own church’s leaders of the period?

  11. watcher says:

    and because we saw its power we’ve not dropped the bomb again and wisely try to keep Iran and other bad guys from getting one.

  12. What Would Reagan Do? says:

    Damn. I hate agreeing with Sam Fields but he is right on. It’s important to note that Japan did not surrender after Hiroshima. They were still mulling it over when we dropped one on Nagasaki.