Framing the Dialogue

Killing the Rising Sun

“Enter this book. It comes with a warning: the following pages contain some extremely troubling material. The violence the world witnessed in 1945 is unprecedented in history and will be chronicled on the following pages in detail. What Martin Dugard and I are about to tell you is true and stark. The way the United States defeated the Japanese empire is vital to understand because the issues of that war are still being processed throughout the world today.”

Authors Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard have created an interesting historical series.  Most of us know about the atomic bombs dropped on Japanese cities during World War II, but many of us forgot or really were never taught all of the history behind the decisions.  Killing the Rising Sun sets the context for the looming invasion of the Japanese mainland and the chilling expectations for American AND Japanese casualties.

“The devastating battle for Peleliu, which has already incurred four thousand American casualties, is taking place only because MacArthur fears that Japanese planes will launch from its runways and harass his Philippine invasion force. In truth, the American navy now controls the sea and the skies and would have little trouble stopping an aerial attack…Back in Washington, war strategists begin to ask one vital question: If the Japanese will fight with such determination over a small, remote island of little tactical significance, how many Americans will die when the time comes to invade the Japanese homeland?”

When you hear debates about decisions made decades ago, remember to get some context.  When holocaust deniers make bold statements denigrating the memories of those killed we have to hold them accountable for their ignorance.

I was astounded by the stories of the Japanese atrocities to inhabitants of the territories they took and to their mistreatment of captured Americans.  Their are stories of citizens beating and killing pilots who were shot down.  Read the book; feel the brutality of the Japanese; Make an informed opinion about why Roosevelt pushed the development of the bomb and why Truman made the decision to use them.

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