War is a dreadful thing, and I can respect an honest pacifist, though I think he is entirely mistaken. What I cannot understand is this sort of semi-pacifism you get nowadays which gives people the idea that though you have to fight, you ought to do it with a long face as if you were ashamed of it.
The criterion for the use of nuclear weapons was established fifty nine years ago when, after months of deliberation, President Harry S. Truman made the fateful decision to drop atomic bombs on two Japanese cities. For the next eighteen years the Missouri Democrat was criticized for his judgment. But in July 1963 Irv Kupcinet, a columnist for the Chicago Sun Times, wrote favorably about the excruciating decision. Truman, who rarely spoke about the bombing, wrote a letter in response in which he defended his action:
I knew what I was doing when I stopped the war that would have killed a half million youngsters on both sides if those bombs had not been dropped. I have no regrets and, under the same circumstances, I would do it again ‘