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We must never apologize for dropping the bomb on Japan
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Japan’s narrative of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki for years has painted the Japanese as victims.

The decision this past Aug. 6 to have the U.S. ambassador to Japan present for ceremonies at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial for the first time at the official commemoration of the dropping of the bomb 65 years prior has been viewed by some as an admission of sorts by the United States that it was wrong to do so.

Some 120,000 Japanese died instantly and perhaps an equal number died later of radiation poisoning.

The loss of life - especially in such numbers - is definitely worthy of all of us taking pause and reflecting upon what happened and how to avoid it from ever occurring again.

But trying to generate guilt in the United States or to paint the Japanese as mere victims is revisionist history at its worst.

First, there is the inconvenient truth that Japan started the War in the Pacific.

Japan attacked the United States first and did so as part of their well documented desire to control much of the globe. The ethnic atrocities committed by the Japanese government at that time were on par with Adolph Hitler’s madness. The systematic massive killing of different ethnicities in China and other Asian nations pales the death count from the dropping of the bomb. In China alone, 10 million civilians died at the hands of the Japanese army plus another 1.3 million. Compare that to Japan’s overall loss of 2 million in a war that they started.

President Harry Truman was weighing the option of invading Japan instead. Military briefings at the time projected such a decision would lead to a million American deaths and at least two million more Japanese deaths. There had already been 500,000 American deaths fighting the Axis Powers’ twisted goal of human and global conquest.

To classify it as a humanitarian decision given the circumstances wouldn’t be much of a stretch.  Nearly 250,000 died so 3 million could live.

Now with each passing day of death claiming an average of 1,570 American veterans of World War II we run the risk of letting political correctness paint the deeds of those brave men and women with a brush that depicts the United States as ruthless in its decision to drop the bomb. Those men and women - including others who were stateside - understand the immensity of both the decision made by Truman and the price this nation had already paid by the time the two bombs forced the unconditional surrender of the Japanese on Aug. 15, 1945.

Yes, there are things we should not be proud of that we did during World War II especially the internment of Americans who happened to be of Japanese descent. But we have admitted the errors of that decision and have made sure our history books in schools and our national conscience never forget that wrong.

That, however, is not the case of official Japanese history that has for years minimized atrocities they committed in annihilating 10 million Chinese civilians.

We must not - nor should we - open old wounds. The transformation of Japan along with Germany and Italy has been amazing from both a moral and economic standpoint.

But we should not bend from the sound moral judgment that was made in the dark days of 1945 that ultimately sparred the lives of three million people including two million Japanese.

We did not do anything wrong and we certainly owe no apology as a nation not then, not today, and not 20,000 years from now.

Unfortunately, as The Greatest Generation dwindles away we run the risk of devaluing the tremendous sacrifices of the men and women who saved not just the United States but literally the world.