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If we had had the Bomb in 1941 and responded to Pearl Harbor with the immediate annihilation of a Japanese and a German city (with all their civilians), the war would have been over right then and tens of millions of lives would have been saved. That's an interesting theory but it's wrong. Firstly, Oe bomb on a Japanese city certainly wouldn't have been enough. It took two atomic bombs before Japan surrendered. But in addition to the two atomic bombs, to a campaign of fire-bombing Japan cities had been going on for months. More Japanese were killed on the night of March 13/14 1944 when Tokyo was bombed then were killed in either Hirshima or Nagasaki (some say more than both combined). Over 50% of the structures in 42 Japanese cities were vaporized. Sometimes, four cities a day were fire-bombed. Additionally, the Japanese Navy had almost totally been destroyed, Japanese soil had been invaded, and Russia had declared war. At that point Japan was ready to surrender. On atomic bomb was not enough to do the job, not even close.The bombing of Dresden and Hamburg likewise inflicted casulties on the scale of Nagasaki, but the war dragged on for months and years after that. After the WTC attack, did you hear anyone say something like "We should give into bin Laden. He can strike at us whenever he wants. We should just give him whatever he wants and hopefully he won't strike us again." Of course not. The opposite happened. Every single resource available to use will be spent destroying bin Laden. In the short history of modern warfare, terror-bombing has never worked (your proposal to attack civilians with nuclear weapons certain qualifies as terror-bombing). History tells us that terror-bombing galvanizes civillian populations. I fear your proposal would create a thousand times more enemies, with double the motivation.
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