In reference to “Muslim journalist: ‘Use our common ground’” (March 31), I take deep umbrage with Ms. Anisa Mehdi if she considers the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki as an act of “terrorism” comparable to the suicidal murders of the civilians of the Twin Towers.
When we bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki we were at the end of a very brutal war. Germany, who had declared war on the United States, had been defeated and we had seen the grim evidence of their occupation of Europe and Asia.
The war with the Japanese empire was brutal and had now been brought to the home island of Japan. We knew of the “Bataan Death March” and such atrocities as putting chains on the “rescued” pilots of the battle of Midway and throwing them overboard and the beheading of prisoners who were unable to answer questions.
China had endured the “Rape of the Nanking” and the atrocities of Japan’s occupation of China.
Japan’s civilians had been instructed to fight to the death and had been armed with wooden guns and spears to kill. From the mass suicides that occurred on Okinawa we had every reason to expect this policy of killing the invaders would be carried out.
We expected there would be one million American casualties if we landed on the beaches of Japan and the toll of civilian casualties would have been enormous. I do not believe the Chinese and Americans who fought in that war would consider the suicidal murderers of the Twin Towers in any way comparable to the American destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in an attempt to bring World War II to and end.
It should be of interest to Ms. Mehdi that Japan readily accepted the concept of a democratic republic and rapidly rose to the second largest economy in the world.
Norman Ende, MD
Capt. USNR (ret)