April 12,1945 to August 6,1945

The year 1945 was momentous in an almost unprecedented way. The dates referenced above are not the only events of major significance, but they will suffice for now. April 12 is one of those days that  people would always  remember where they were when they heard the news. President Roosevelt  was dead. The only man to be elected to 4 terms; he was just beginning his 13th year in office when he succumbed to a  stroke and died in Warm Springs, Ga at the age of 63. His death elevated a virtually unknown  man to the Presidency at one of the nation’s most critical junctures. WW II, at least in Europe was drawing to an end but the Pacific theater, another story indeed.

Harry Truman was neither  a Dick Cheney or Joe Biden in terms of power or influence. He was Roosevelt’s 3rd veep  and was not what you would call highly influential or knowledgeable and in fact had only occupied the office for 82 days. Thus he was not really aware of the feverish efforts underway to develop the atomic bomb.

Apparently he came up to speed very quickly since his decision to launch the Enola Gay with the first bomb came less than 3 months after he took office. The decision was made even though it  was by no means universally lauded and was opposed by some 70+ scientists.

I would like to draw  a comparison to the situation in which Mr Truman found himself and  the ongoing process about what should be our next step in Afghanistan. I read excerpts frm  a Eugene Robinson column today that lauded the reasoned approach the President is taking versus the “ready, firm, aim” approach of George Bush. He of course makes the typical comments about  this as  well as Iraq being George Bush’s doing.

I have had the nagging thought for some time about Truman’ s position. It was not his war that he was tasked with completing and it might have been easy or expedient politically to not blame Roosevelt, but  to give either him or his policies part of the “credit” for his controversial decision. I don’t think that he did so. Remember the buck stops here?

My point, which I am not making as well as I would like is not to say the President’s reasoned approach is  all that bad. But, given the fact that this  war was frequently referenced in the campaign, it is not conducive to fall back on the Bush’s war approach.

When he took office, WWII became Truman’s war. We could always the question, if Roosevelt had lived would he have dropped the bomb or bombs?  But it remains a specious question. For good or bad, Afghanistan is Obama’s  war ( hopefully his main adviser is not John  Kerry) and history will doubtless allocate to him the credit if he succeeds.


October 28, 2009 - Posted by | History, military, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. The liberals way of thinking will be if Obama makes the wrong decision and loses the war in Afghanistan it will be G.W. Bush’s war, on the other hand if the U.S. Military wins or Afghanistan’s government gain control enough to keep the peace then it will be credit to Barack Obama skillful leadership….now please can I take an aspirin for this Obama headache?

    Comment by goodtimepolitics | October 28, 2009 | Reply

  2. Might need two or three aspirin and maybe some veggies- lol

    Comment by tarheeltalker | October 28, 2009 | Reply

  3. After my aspirin took effect the wife and I went out and ate and I had okra! I know you like okra don’t you Tarheeltalker? 🙂

    Comment by goodtimepolitics | October 30, 2009 | Reply

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