Globe readers this past week were treated to two stories that were the epitome of storytelling. Editor Carol Stark’s “Bridge to Our Past” (Sunday, July 26) told us of former Joplin Globe reporter and friend Max McCoy’s involvement in interviewing survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that finally ended World War II. It was a solemn reminder that though the hell of war had finally ended for millions across the world, the hell for the thousands of survivors was just beginning.
Globe reporter Andra Stefanoni, in her story, “Globe featured in art honoring WWII flight” (July 29), took us back to the Doolittle raid on Tokyo that was launched just months after the Pearl Harbor attack that almost four years later would lead to the bombings McCoy would cover decades later. The story of the crossing of paths between Doolittle’s co-pilot, Richard Cole, and a little boy (at the time) in Kansas City, watercolor painter of WWII aircraft Kermit Dyer, is a true-to-life illustration of that no matter how old we get, we just never know what the path ahead may hold.
One story is a testament to the civilian cost of war, the other a tribute to the men who wore the uniform, both trips back to another time, when in the course of less than six years the world went from being thrown into the largest conflagration it had ever known to emerging out the other side at the beginning of the atomic age and landing a man on the moon just two decades later. And both stories are timely tie-ins to this Thursday and the 70th anniversary of the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima. While some will dwell on the devastation it caused and in their view the immorality of it, there are others, myself included, who see it for what it was: a terrible end to an even more horrific war.
As I wrote during the 50th anniversary: “America did not want war those long years ago. It was another dawn of Dec. 7, which forced us to fight … President Harry S. Truman made his decision in the sincere hope of saving lives, Japanese as well as American. … Had he not used the bomb, there would be tens of thousands less grandfathers and tens of thousands more graves on both sides of the Pacific.”
Those were the conditions at the time, and under those conditions, Truman did what he had to do to save American lives.
Back in the present, President Barack Obama claims that his recently negotiated deal with Iran is a “good” deal, that the only alternative to his deal is war. Obama’s straw man argument aside, Iran’s history alone is more than enough to say “no” to the deal.
Iran is choosing to break international law. Iran is choosing to sponsor terrorism. Iran is choosing to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles. In short, Iran today, just as Japan of yesterday, is choosing to go to war. Except this time, instead of having a Truman willing to use everything at his disposal to defeat our enemy, we have an Obama bending over backward to appease it. There is a valid argument to be made that had Adolf Hitler been stood up to in 1938 and 1939, there would be no Hiroshima memorial because WWII would have been stopped before it started.
America dropped the bomb because it was already at war — a war it did not seek, a war it did not want and a war that the enemy showed no sign of ending. Iran will drop the bomb because it can. First on Israel, then the American Satan.