The Daily Globe from Ironwood, Michigan on July 27, 1985 · Page 4
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The Daily Globe from Ironwood, Michigan · Page 4

Ironwood, Michigan
Issue Date:
Saturday, July 27, 1985
Page 4
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-Opinion THE DAILY GLOBE, Ironwood, Ml - Saturday, July 27, 1985, Page 4 Did A-bombing of Japan hurt U.S. ? WASHINGTON {NEA) - Shortly before the United States decided to drop the world's first combat atom bombs on Japan in the last few days of World War II, a group of nuclear scientists from the University of Chicago issued a strongly worded report advising the government against Ihe action. The scientists said use of the weapons would be impolitic as well as inhuman. The report predicted the bombings would cause discomfort and suspicion in the international community, they would also unleash a new kind of arms race; as a result, they would create more problems than they would solve. Forty years later it's clear the scientists were fairly much on the mark. At least on the first two counts. There is little question that the post-war division between eastern and western interests is rooted in nuclear distrust, and so is (he race for bigger, better and more catastrophic armaments. 1 But what of the third prediction? Was the atomic bombing of Japan worth it? The question has dominated the nuclear age. And it has been colored by armchair emotions and the ironies of history. One irony is that the weapon was originally conceived as a threat to Nazi Germany, but it was only employed after Germany had surrendered and Japan was at least thinking about doing the same. Critics claim that was not war but crime. And they add that everyone on - earth has paid a stiff penalty since. The people born before the extermination of the populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki could not guarantee it would not happen again, and the people born after must live with the insecurity. Dr. Bernard Feld defines the insecurity in stark terms. He says the world could blow up at any hour of any day. The United States and the Soviet Union have 50,000 nuclear warheads between them, four or five other nations have stockpiles of their own, and there is no real hope to stop further proliferation. Feld is one of the scientists who worked on the first atomic weapons. He is also one who came to regret the effort, He says if the United States had held the bombs in check in 1945, and won the war conventionally, it would have established a precedent for the control and beneficial use of the nuclear force- He believes the force might thus be seen today as an opportunity rather than a curse. And present research could follow exclusively peaceful pursuits. In addition, Feld thinks that if the industrious and inventive Japanese were not haunted by radioactive ghosts, they would take a lead in the pursuits. Instead, atomic energy is virtually synonymous with fear. And another nuclear pioneer, Edwin Teller, says it has, in effect, paralyzed logic. Teller says the Japanese nightmare has made Americans "bomb-shy"; they won't think about the unthinkable, as it's said, and that's a grave risk in (he real world. Americans do think about guilt, though. Some historians insist the use of the bomb was the most wicked government deed of the century. Officially, the government itself has normally disagreed; a string of U.S. JAPAN win, lose & DREW presidents and defense leaders have argued that Ihe atomic bombings were actually a kindness. The argument is that Japan in 1945 was prepared to fight to the last man Only a few of the influential officers were talking about stacking arms. The nation had been isolated by encircling allies, it did not have sufficient supplies of food or munitions, yet it refused all demands to surrender. Militarists said Japan must "avoid the sad plight of Germany." The national slogan was "One Hundred Million Die Together." A high-ranking army commander was quoted widely as saying that his troops would keep fighting even if they had to "chew grass, eat dirt and sleep on the rocks in the fields." So the U.S. alternatives were not good. The choice was between Ihe bomb and a land invasion. Harry Stinson, the secretary of war, said the latter would lead to a "ghastly clash" in which 700,000 to 1 million Americans would be killed, ani- at least twice that number of Japanese would perish. After lengthy consultations, President Harry Truman ordered the first bomb dropped on Aug. 6 on Hiroshima. He did not ask for advice to drop the second on Aug. 9 on Nagasaki. He noted later that the devastation, though thorough, was not the worst of Ihe war; fire bombs had done greater damage in, say, Tokyo and Dresden. Truman was convinced he was correct. And he was prepared to drop three or four more of the atomic weapons, if it were necessary. When Japan finally gave up, on Aug. 14, the president said the bombings were "the greatest thing in history," because they had saved so many more lives than they took. And that point may be the overriding one of the 40-year controversy. It is difficult to object lo survival. Edwin Teller points out thai if Japan had been spared, a good many old soldiers and their families, at home and abroad, would not now be around to wonder whether America was right or wrong. Opinions needed on nuclear waste issue In regard to the small turnout at Ihe nuclear waste public hearing recently in Marqucttc, I would like to makea few comments. It is important thai people get out to express their opinions. That is supposedly what makes this country a democracy — of the people, for "the people, by the people, It cannot be a democracy if half or mure of the country is resting on the hope that other people will do their actions for them. Yet it is even more important thai they be truthfully informed so that they can voice those opinions. 0 tie ca nnot a I ways be] i eve t h e whitewashing of what one reads or hears. Being objectively informed requires effort being taken loget both sides of the issue with an open mind. P'or 10 years 1 have watched the nuclear issues. This entailed taking actual short lecture classes from MarqueLlc University, many readings, talking to nuclear scientists and listening loa husband who works on nuclear reactors as a welder- machinist, 1 can remember my husband voicing his concern about working on a particular reactor in Illinois that had problems. Many of the crew refused or shied away from working on it for fear of health risks. Later this particular reactor showed up on environmental group lists as a problem reactor. He also talked of how some welders-machinists were Uking the tests for licensing or certification in machining for other men, who then took jobs on nuclear reactors. This was aired later by the news. These men who sneaked through on someone else's knowledge and skills then worked on potentially strategic Letters areas. Such practices could account for the misplacement of vital parts in one such nuclear reactor out in California as read about in the newspaper. I certainly would not want such a man who had not been properly trained or tested out to be working anything that could so effectively endanger my health or safely as a nuclear reactor or its waste. Yet to compound this problem, for'a number of years certified welders had been protesting to government officials about such practices to no avail. For government to ignore or close ils eyes to such things is frightening. IE makes me ask: what else does it close its eyes lo like in regards lo nuclear waste? Other nuclear devices such as Ihe Titan nuclear missies made the 5 o'clock news when an astounding number of safely measures and equipment malfunctioned. The list of inadequate functioning took more than one or two rolls of the TV screen to get them all listed. This country is known to lei ils equipment go loo long before replacing il. It also has a reputation for short-sightedness and lack of adequate long-term research and valid testing on its potentially hazardous materials for long range effects. One only needs lo look al how city dumps have been contaminating wells in Wisconsin. We've known for I years about these polluting factors, hut i[ look many more years for action lo catch up to lhal awareness. We can't afford to wail for action to catch up to awareness, especially when thai awareness is not completely formed as it is on containment fornuclearwasle. No natural formalion is without some fractures or imperfections, why they are considering a multi-barrier approach. But even with the multi-barrier approach, there is the potential leaking in transportation past your house and The Ironwood Daily GK be Comment Bouquets The Diiily Globe salules: —Nelson Shcppo, Lac Du Flambeau, Wis., named a winner of the "Ten Most Admired Senior Citizens" in Wisconsin. -Dave Koski, named principal at the White Pine St'hool. —liillie Wencihincll, appointed postmaster at I'resque Isle, Wis. —Second baseman Dave Niehoff, voted the "Player of Hit- Yciir" in the All-Lumberjack Baseball Conference, lie was one of six players from Park Falls named to the all-star .team. —Maryaret Maurin, Ironwood, who celebrated her 9411) birthday. —Former Ironwood city manager Steve Worachek and his wife, who will be honored at an appreciation dinner Monday at IhcTowne House Motor Inn. — Chris Forsluiul, Ironwood, who was outstanding during an organ concert Friday at the Ironwood Theatre. Members of the Ironwood Business and Professional Woman's Club, for presenting a check for SI,000 to the Ironwood Theatre Preservation Committee. —Ontonagon's Gary Polakowski and Brad Robeson, winners of the Milakovich Trophy during the tourney at the Gogcbic Country Club. William ,Ioki, elected chairman of the Upper Peninsula Chapter of the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants. — Ironwood VFW Post 1823, featured in reopening ceremonies. In years past Ity The Ass(Hi;ilr*ll > ii--,s TiKlay is Saturday, July 27, the •>()Hlh (toy tif HHJ5. There nrc 1.17 days k'ft in the year. Today's highlight in history: On July '2V. utrrt, local I'inie, the Kiirfun War urmistico was signed ;it I \mimmjuiii. It IKK) lakeu 'ZTu) nu'eling.s over two years and 17 days lo reach (ho agreement. The iir- rnisliec- ended three years of fighting thai h;i<] killed or muinu'd an estimated 2A million i>cop]e. Official i;.S. sliUiblics list more limn M.OOti American deaths rt-KLillmg from hall)i* Enid other causes. Onlhisdate: In 1789, Congress established the Department of Foreign Affairs, the forerunner of Ihe Department of Slate. In 1B66, Cyrus W. Field finally succeeded after two failures in laying the first underwater telegraph cable bet weed North America and Europe. In I9;j-l. Ilrilaiii'and Egypt agreed on terms ending British control of the Suez Canal. In 1%0, Vice President Richard M. Nixon was nominated for president al the Republican Convention in Chicago. In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee voted 27-11 to recommend President Nixon's impeachment on a charge that he had personally engaged in a "course of conduct" designed to obstruct justice in the Watergate case. mine. And don't always believe the leak-proof tests they may talk of. The validity of those tests has been questioned. Get out there on July 30 (al 7 p.m.! for the Gogebic County nuclear waste meeting and ask those questions. Ask for specifics, accountability and public responsibility from nuclear officials. Put them on the spot. It's your life and your children's children's lives thatareatstake. CristiCurrie West Bend, Wis. The Ironwood Daily GKbe Hoib Levin Ed 10[/GeneiaI Manager Andy Hill News Editor Robait Triivatthen Advertising Manager Thomas Siaack Ciicutaiion Manager Gary Morlanl Business Manager Connie Pavlovlch Classified Manager Richard Unn Production Manager Michael Anderson Pressroom Manager The Daily Globe (UPS 269 980) is published daily except Sundays and legal holidays by tlie Globe Publishing Co. al 118 E. McLeod Avenue, lionwood, Mich. 45938. Second crass postage paid at Iron wood, Mich. Posimasle; send address changes lo The Ironwoodi Daily Globe, 118 E. McLeod Ave.. lionwood, Mich. 49938. Telephone (906, 932-2211, Office hours 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; Saturday from? a.m. to 11 a.m. The Associaied Piess is entitled to Ihe use (or 12 publication of all the local news printed in this newspaper as well as all AP news dispaiches. Subscription rates: By carrier monthly in advance, $6.15, $66.50 per year in advance. Motor route and mail rates available on request. No mail subscriptions sold in areas where carrier m motor route service is maintained. A Glance into the Ptoto c<xj<1esYrtt«rt Wlclwch Bunker Hill camp about 1914 The "Aurora Boys" posed in front of their kill in 1914 at the Bunker Hill Camp near the site of the Biack River dam.

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