News & Politics

Rebutting Nikole Hannah-Jones’ Latest Anti-American Revisionism

Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File

Nikole Hannah-Jones, of 1619 Project infamy, recently echoed more anti-American ignorance in the most banal fashion.

Unsatisfied with the distortions in her 1619 Project, she transitioned from slavery to the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The would-be scholar posted this easily-debunked tweet, which she naturally has since deleted:

Those preposterous views, of course, are not really hers. They come from Howard Zinn’s notorious A People’s History of the United Stateswhich has brainwashed students for 40 years.

Zinn wrote, “the Japanese had begun talking of surrender a year before this but the Americans insisted on unconditional surrender, which made peace impossible. Why did the United States not take that small step to save both American and Japanese lives? Was it because too much money and effort had been invested in the atomic bomb not to drop it?”

That’s absurd.

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It’s now accepted by everyone — including Japanese historians — that the reason for using the atomic bomb was a serious concern about the enormous cost in casualties a U.S. invasion of Japan would incur. Many of us whose fathers, uncles, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers fought in World War II would not be here today if that invasion occurred.

Historian Tom Lewis recently estimated that the bomb possibly saved more than 32 million lives worldwide.

At a White House meeting in June 1945, President Harry Truman learned that General Douglas MacArthur estimated our casualties would approach a staggering 120,000 in the first 90 days after the invasion. The U.S. Navy’s estimate ran to a quarter-million casualties overall, with the battle for Tokyo still to come.

In order to avoid a fight to the death between American and Japanese soldiers and civilians that would drag on for years, Truman authorized the dropping of one of the two atomic bombs on Hiroshima; if Japan still refused to surrender, the second would fall on Nagasaki.

On the eve of Hiroshima, nowhere close to surrendering, or even worn down by several major defeats, Japan’s fanatical military leadership was determined to fight to the finish. They had become obsessed with prosecuting the war no matter the human cost.

Even after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the military generals called for the “honorable death of 100 million” in a “battle for the Japanese Home Islands.”

The shocking devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, however, confirmed Emperor Hirohito’s private belief that Japan had nothing to gain by fighting on.

On Aug. 12, he explained that circumstances “do not lead me to believe that the military would be victorious in the Battle for the Home Islands.”

The only option now was to accept the conditions from the Big Three’s July 26 declaration at Potsdam calling for Japan’s surrender.

The Japanese government had rejected the offer on July 28, but two days after Nagasaki’s devastation, their cabinet issued an emergency telegram stating it would accept it. Hirohito told the Japanese people on Aug. 15 that they would have “to endure the unendurable” and accept surrender.

MacArthur said had no intention of overturning Hirohito’s authority.

“Through him it will be possible to maintain a completely orderly government” after the war, the general explained. The young emperor went on to live another 44 years.

If atomic bombs had not been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Hirohito might have lacked the courage to push back against a Japanese military that had effectively taken over his government and hoped to fight to the last man, woman, and child.

These are the facts, even if none of this information makes any difference to Jones, Zinn, or their warped followers.