Morality of the A-bomb
Contributor Martin Raffel asks if there was “a racist rationale for dropping the A-bomb on Japan rather than Germany” (Raffel’s Riffs, “The A-bomb: Does necessity equal morality?” May 2).
There are certainly questions about the use of the atomic bombs against Japan that can legitimately be raised — most notably, whether the Japanese surrender was due to the U.S. dropping the atomic bombs on Aug. 6 and 9 or the Soviet Union entering the war on Aug. 8.
It is quite clear that the U.S. used the atomic bomb against Japan, but not against Germany, for the simple reason that the first atomic bomb test took place in New Mexico on July 16, 1945, and, since Germany had already surrendered in May, use of the bomb against Germany was not an option.
Michael L. Ticktin