Originally Posted by TK-8252
We didn't need to get involved in the first place.
Yeah, we did.
Up until that time the majority of Americans wanted to stay out of the war (isolationism).
As for using nuclear weapons on Japan: no, the civilians didn't "deserve it," but the military installations in those cities did. This was just one of many very inhumane acts carried out by both sides in the bloodiest, most ruthless conflict the world has ever seen. It was seen at the time as a way to swiftly end the war with no more American lives being lost. I doubt that at that time Truman, or any other American for that matter, really gave a rat's ass about the civilian deaths these bombs would cause, given the fact that by that stage in the war the ruthless flattening of entire cities by massive air strikes had become the norm. EmpDev has already correctly pointed out that the firebombing of Tokyo alone killed as many people as nuking Hiroshima did, and it was just one of several Japanese cities that got the same treatment.
After four years of total war on two fronts, America was sick of war and Japan had shown no outward signs of giving up. Your idea of a total blockade is admirable, but unrealistic given the fact that it was already being done. The US Navy had adopted Germany's methods in the use of submarines. They were sinking every Japanese merchant or naval vessel that was in the waters around Japan, and had been for at least the past year.
The Japanese were cut off and starving, but they wouldn't surrender. Based on experience gained through four years of total war the US military leadership had every reason to believe that they would never surrender. As thay saw it, there there was only option: a bloody invasion with millions, yes millions of casualties on both sides, which they were completely willing to and were planning to undertake when the nukes suddenly became available. To them it was a no-brainer. Either invade at the cost of several hundred thousand American lives or nuke two cities and kill a couple hundred thousand Japanese in a way little different than they'd been doing for the past year, and with little or no loss of American lives. It was probably the easiest decision Truman ever made.
Was it brutal? Yes, but so was everything else that happened in that war. It pales in comparison to the stuff that Germany and Japan did. He who tries to remain a saint while waging war loses. There is no question in my mind that if the Germans or Japanese had developed these weapons first, they would have used them to take over the world. The US used them to end the war, and probably also as a message to that ruthless bastard Stalin that he'd better behave himself.
Your humanitarianism is admirable, but ultimately I think the use of the bomb saved more lives than it took.