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Harry Turman, the 33rd President of the United States, will always be remembered as the

man who made the decision to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Truman had been vice president for only 82 days when President Roosevelt died. He had
had very little meaningful communication with Roosevelt about world affairs or domestic
politics after being sworn in as vice president, and was completely uninformed about major
initiatives relating to the successful prosecution of the war—notably the top secret
Manhattan Project, which was about to test the world's first atomic bomb.
Shortly after taking the oath of office, Truman said to reporters:
"Boys, if you ever pray, pray for me now. I don't know if you fellas ever had a load of hay fall
on you, but when they told me what happened yesterday, I felt like the moon, the stars,
and all the planets had fallen on me." A few days after his swearing in, he wrote to his wife,
Bess: "It won't be long until I can sit back and study the whole picture and. . . there'll be no
more to this job than there was to running Jackson County and not anymore worry."[6]
However, the simplicity he had predicted would prove elusive.

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For more details on this topic, see Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Truman was quickly briefed on the Manhattan Project and authorized use of atomic
weapons against the Japanese in August 1945, after Japan rejected the Potsdam
Declaration. The atomic bombings that followed were the first, and so far the only, instance
of nuclear warfare.
On the morning of August 6, 1945, the B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb
on Hiroshima.[42] Two days later, having heard nothing from the Japanese government,
Truman let the U.S. military proceed with its plans to drop a second atomic bomb. On
August 9, Nagasaki was also devastated.[43] Truman received news of the bombing while
aboard the heavy cruiser USS Augusta on his way back to the U.S. after the Potsdam
Conference. The Japanese agreed to surrender on August 14

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Truman was at first reluctant to use the new weapon. The problem was that each bomb
would obliterate an entire city, not just the military targets.

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But hospitals, schools, and civilian homes. Women, children, old people, and other
noncombatants would be wiped out along with the military personnel.

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Although the Allies had bombed cities before, Truman sensed that the new weapon made
the issue of noncombtants even more acute. Morover, the U.S. was on record condemning
attacks on civilian targets

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The ruthless bombing from the air of civilians in unfortified centers of population during
the course of the hostilities which have raged in various quarters of the earth during the
past few years, which has resulted in the maiming and in the death of thousands of
defenseless men, women, and children, has sickened the hearts of every civilized man and
woman, and has profoundly shocked the conscience of humanity.
If resort is had to this form of inhuman barbarism during the period of the tragic
conflagration with which the world is now confronted, hundreds of thousands of innocent
human beings who have no responsibility for, and who are not even remotely participating
in, the hostilities which have now broken out, will lose their lives. I am therefore addressing
this urgent appeal to every government which may be engaged in hostilities publicly to
affirm its determination that its armed forces shall in no event, and under no
circumstances, undertake the bombardment from the air of civilian populations or of
unfortified cities, upon the understanding that these same rules of warfare will be
scrupulously observed by all of their opponents. I request an immediate reply.

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I have told the Sec. of War, Mr. Stimson, to use it so that military objectives and soldiers
and sailors are the target and not women and children. Even if the Japs are savages,
ruthless, merciless and fanatic, we as the leader of the world for the common welfare
cannot drop that terrible bomb on the old capital or the new.
He and I are in accord. The target will be a purely military one and we will issue a warning
statement asking the Japs to surrender and save lives. I'm sure they will not do that, but we
will have given them the chance. It is certainly a good thing for the world that Hitler's
crowd or Stalin's did not discover this atomic bomb. It seems to be the most terrible thing
ever discovered, but it can be made the most useful...

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Elizeth Anscombe, died 2001 at the age of 81 was a 20-year-old student at Oxford
University when WW II began. In that year she co-authored a controversial pamphlet
arguing that Britain should ot go to war because it would end up fighting by unjust means,
such as attacks upon civilians.

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Anscombe was also a Catholic and her religion was central to her life. Her ethical views,
especially, reflected traditional Catholic teachings.
Amscombe and her husband, Peter Greech, another distinguished philosopher, were the
20th century’s foremost philosophical champions of the doctrine that moral rules are
absolute.

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1n 1968, Anscombe celebrated Pope Paul VI’s affirmation of the church’s ban on
contraception and wrote a pamphlet explaining why artificial birth-control is wrong. .

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Late in her life, Anscombe was arrested while protesting outside a British abortion clinic.
She also accepted the church’s teaching about the ethical conduct of war, which brought
her into conflict with Mr. Truman.

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In 1956, while a research fellow at Oxford University, she protested against Oxford's
decision to grant an honorary degree to Harry S. Truman, whom she denounced as a mass
murderer for his use of atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Those proposing the honorary degree at Oxford thought that it would be uncontroversial.
But Anscombe and two other members of the faculty opposed awarding the degree.
Although they lost, they forced a vote.
While the degree was being conferred, Anscombe knelt outside the hall, praying.
As a young philosophy don, Anscombe acquired a reputation as a formidable debater. In
1948 she won a debate against C. S. Lewis at Oxford's Socratic Club over Lewis's argument
that naturalism was self-refuting (found in the third chapter of original publication of his
book Miracles). Admirers of Lewis have made much of this event - some associates
(primarily George Sayer and Derek Brewer) remarked that this loss was so humiliating for
Lewis that he abandoned theological argument and turned entirely to devotional writing
and children's literature.

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Anscombe’s essay is largely a skillful application of "just war" doctrine, a venerable part of
the Western moral tradition, to the particular cases of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Her case
against Truman hinges on a principle that would seem to be almost universally embraced
by the world’s major ethical traditions, but which nevertheless is often suspended in
evaluating actions sanctioned by a state: "For men to choose to kill the innocent as a
means to their ends is always murder, and murder is one of the worst of human actions…
When I say that to choose to kill the innocent as a means to one's ends is murder, I am
saying what would generally be accepted as correct. But I shall be asked for my definition
of ‘the innocent.’ I will give it, but later. Here, it is not necessary; for with Hiroshima and
Nagasaki we are not confronted with a borderline case. In the bombing of these cities it
was certainly decided to kill the innocent as a means to an end."

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It does not matter if you could accomplish some great good by boiling a baby; it simply
must not be done.

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