As we approach the 78th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the threat of using nuclear bombs as a means of warfare is real. The United States is supporting the rearmament of Japan. Europe is swimming toward war, spilling over from Ukraine. The United States (and its NATO allies) and Russia are actively fighting a proxy war in Ukraine.
Sheer: Like most of the others killed by the two American bombs, neither the children nor the adults had any role in Japan’s decision to go to war, but they were picked as the target instead of an isolated but fortified military base whose antiaircraft fire posed a higher risk. The target preferred by U.S. atomic scientists—a patch in the ocean or unpopulated terrain—was rejected, because the effect of hundreds of thousands of civilians dying would be all the more dramatic.