Hiroshima and Moral Revisionism

Thoughts in and around geopolitics.

Last week marked the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the first of two strikes on the Japanese mainland that forever changed the face of war. Since they effectively meant the end of World War II, the bombings were met in much of the world with joy. That general view discounted the death of Japanese and focused instead on the lives the bombings supposedly saved, an attitude owing partly to the attack on Pearl Harbor and partly to the idea that the Japanese were especially barbaric in the Pacific theater. As all people do at all times, we loved our own more than we loved others. Three arguments were made against the strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. First, that the Japanese were prepared to surrender anyway; second, that fears of U.S. casualties in Japan were exaggerated; and third, that the bomb was not dropped to defeat Japan but to intimidate the Russians. All are plausible but none stands up to serious scrutiny. The Japanese were never going to agree to unconditional surrender, as was demanded by the Potsdam Agreement. Recall that in the day prior to the final surrender and after the atomic attack, elements of the Japanese […]

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George Friedman

George Friedman is an internationally recognized geopolitical forecaster and strategist on international affairs and the founder and chairman of Geopolitical Futures.

Dr. Friedman is also a New York Times bestselling author. His most recent book, THE STORM BEFORE THE CALM: America’s Discord, the Coming Crisis of the 2020s, and the Triumph Beyond, published February 25, 2020 describes how “the United States periodically reaches a point of crisis in which it appears to be at war with itself, yet after an extended period it reinvents itself, in a form both faithful to its founding and radically different from what it had been.” The decade 2020-2030 is such a period which will bring dramatic upheaval and reshaping of American government, foreign policy, economics, and culture.

His most popular book, The Next 100 Years, is kept alive by the prescience of its predictions. Other best-selling books include Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe, The Next Decade, America’s Secret War, The Future of War and The Intelligence Edge. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages.

Dr. Friedman has briefed numerous military and government organizations in the United States and overseas and appears regularly as an expert on international affairs, foreign policy and intelligence in major media. For almost 20 years before resigning in May 2015, Dr. Friedman was CEO and then chairman of Stratfor, a company he founded in 1996. Friedman received his bachelor’s degree from the City College of the City University of New York and holds a doctorate in government from Cornell University.