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At least Wigg-Stevenson cites Just War teaching. Most of the Religious Left prefers to ignore it altogether in its dreamy advocacy of an irrelevant pacifism. If the Air Force training did actually rely exclusively on the Germans-and-Japanese-would-have-done-it-first-argument, it should have included broader arguments. No American President would have condemned hundreds of thousands of U.S. military personnel to avoidable death while having a weapon that would decisively end the war. As to the wider moral implications, even had the U.S. unilaterally ended hostilities and left the Japanese militarists in power, millions more, mostly civilians, would have died, as Japan’s imperialist war ruthlessly continued throughout Asia. Millions of Chinese, Indochinese, Thai, Koreans, and Burmese, among many others, including Japanese, are alive today because the U.S. nuclear strikes spared their parents and grandparents needless deaths 66 years ago.
A recent National Council of Churches (NCC) news release cited the 160,000 initial deaths from the atomic blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Horrible enough. But World War II killed 50 million. No Religious Left news releases have asked how those lives might have been spared in what Winston Churchill deemed an avoidable war, if only the democracies had acted with resolve sooner. The last century was stained not only by tens of millions of corpses from two world wars, but also the over 100 million murdered victims of totalitarian regimes. Their murderous designs for global domination were defeated primarily by American power.
How would today’s world look with a denuclearized America? Would it be safer? Would it be freer and more prosperous? Would the potential aggressors and mass murders of tomorrow feel more or less deterred? Or would a world without American military dominance resemble the early 20th century, when numerous regimes, many of them genocidal, raced for military advantage, precipitating the modern world’s worst calamities?
Religious Left dreamers dare not address such pressing questions, preferring the serenity of their own abstract illusions. Fortunately, they are mostly cloistered in un-influential church bureaucracies and academia. More serious thinkers and people of faith across the ideological spectrum who actually guide U.S. policies know that a world of today without U.S. nukes likely would be a disaster.
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