Intro: Sixty-nine years ago, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing approximately 135,000 Japanese citizens and thrusting the world into a nuclear age.
After the surrender of Germany in May 1945, the US unleashed its full Naval might for the defeat of Japan. Towards the end of July 1945, the American Naval Forces landed in Okinawa, the outlying Japanese Iceland in the Pacific Ocean. The Japanese put up an unprecedented resistance on the ground. About 80% of the more than three lakh people on the Island perished fighting. This slaughter was terrible. Thousands of American soldiers also died.
|Theodore Van Kirk, the last surviving member of the crew that dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima died on July 30.|
Former American President Harry Truman was faced with a dilemma. If the American forces went on to the Japanese mainland they would encounter as much fierce resistance as in Okinawa. Millions of Japanese men and women will fight and die when Americans land upon the Japanese mainland. Tens of thousands of American soldiers would also die as the Japanese were determined to die rather than surrender to the Americans.
If the fight was taken to the finish line, the slaughter on either side would be too terrible and mankind would be shocked. In those circumstances Truman had to decide as to how to end the war with the least slaughter. Should he use the atom bomb? It was with a heavy conscience and over the opposition of the greatest scientist of that time, Einstein that he decided and dropped the first atom bomb on Hiroshima. A few hundred thousand Japanese died. But Japan did not surrender. Truman had to drop the second bomb over Nagasaki. A few more lakhs of Japanese died. The destruction was ruthless. And finally Japan surrendered. What was the judgment of the world? Was Truman right in the use of the atom bombs and putting an end to the Second World War avoiding the slaughter of many more millions? The world by and large approved Truman’s decision as he chose, a
In the Mahabharata war the strategy of Kaurava generalissimos Bheeshma and Drona was to draw away Arjuna from the main battle field. They detailed the Samsaptakas, lakhs of them to challenge Arjuna and take him away from the main battle field. In the event, almost all the Samsaptakas were slaughtered. They fought knowing that none would survive.
These two historic events are recalled in the context of Israel’s war on Hamas in Gaza. The Hamas is a non -state actor, fanatically committed to the destruction of Israel. It is prepared to sacrifice every one of its people just as the Japanese were fighting to the last man preferring it to surrender; just like the Samsaptakas fighting Arjuna in war and getting wiped out. Neither the Japanese nor Samsaptakas cared for human life. Similarly, the Hamas is prepared to sacrifice all men and women and even children over whom it has established its despotic rule. This is why like the Samsaptakas it is fighting Israel. It is not difficult for Israel to wipe out, God forbid, whole of Gaza. But, Hamas seems to be prepared for that too with its leaders in the meanwhile hoping that world opinion would be outraged and would force Israel to stop its onslaught.
Israel is now faced with the same moral problem as President Truman faced in 1945. To be considered inhuman or to put an end to this non-state actor, Hamas. It is worthwhile remembering here that have no Arab country, including Gaza’s neighbour Egypt or Palestinian Authority or other Islamic countries are raising any furore. They all know that Hamas is a fanatic and reckless organisation and that it would not hesitate to turn against anyone including its own Umma in its death-inviting resistance to Israel. India has been a victim of relentless jihadi terrorists in several of its cities of India and over the entire Kashmir valley. It will be prudent for India thus to settle the problem through mediation by countries who intend goodwill for both. -Dr TH Chowdary