Response to WSJ Op ed

What follows is a response to an editorial in the 11/6 WSJ.
Dear Mr. Stephens,
Paul Tibbets also said there is no morality to war. That is why I am a peacemaker. With all out war or total war there is no morality because the principles of the just war theory are not followed before, during or after the war. That is reason enough that we must all work to eliminate war. Total war, including the use of nuclear weapons, is immoral. As recent Popes have said loud and clear, “No more war. Never again war!”
With regard to ending the war with Japan, I take exception to the statement that the use of nuclear weapons was necessary to end the war and save American lives. Au contraire. We need to know the facts and not the “facts” as presented by the government.
The Japanese were already looking for a way to end the war. They had sought the help of the Russians in doing so. There military forces and materiel were depleted and they could not have mounted much of a defense on the mainland. Mr. Truman was intransigent in refusing to accept anything other than an unconditional surrender which in itself was morally suspect.
There is also evidence that we had spent big money to develop the uranium bomb for Hiroshima and the plutonium bomb for Nagasaki; therefore, we had to use them. The two cities had been spared the fire bombing so that experts could analyze the effects of the bombs. Even after Hiroshima, we went ahead with Nagasaki because we had to find out if the plutonium bomb would also work. The bombs were used on civilian population centers resulting in over 200,000 deaths. The bombs were also intended to be the first shots in the Cold War—a warning to the Russians.
Paul Tibbets may have slept well at night but many others did not. Robert Oppenheimer said, “Now I am death. The destroyer of worlds.” Many scientists implored the government not to use the bombs. Fr. George Zabelka, the chaplain to the two bomber crews, later realized that he had bought the lie and repented for supporting the use of the bombs.
With regard to torture, including waterboarding, the war in Iraq is an immoral preventive/preemptive war. Again, we bought the government “facts”—WMDS , “ we have to get them over there,” and “Support the Troops” (= support Mr. Bush’s war). The facts are that this is an immoral war for oil, water and American hegemony in the Middle East.
Finally, I take exception to you whole argument. The ends do not justify the means. Just as an acorn will never become a palm tree immoral means will never produce moral results. As one Irish lady lamented this past summer, “America has lost its position of moral leadership in the world.”

Leave a Reply