More than 67 years since the atomic bombings, no U.S. president has visited Hiroshima or Nagasaki while in office, or raised any question about Truman's decision to explode the new weapon over the center of two large cities populated largely by women and children. Obama, at least, has asked our ambassador to Japan to attend the annual ceremonies in Hiroshima and Nagasaki (which I've attended myself). Some, after leaving office, have expressed a few doubts about the wisdom of the use of the bomb, most notably Dwight D. Eisenhower, who famously said, "It wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing" (Japan in his view was already defeated).
Tomorrow's NYT holds a Janet Maslin review of a new Evan Thomas book on Eisenhower threatening to use the Bomb during the 1950s as a way of avoiding using it. Thomas, who once ripped of large portions of my book on Hiroshima with Robert Jay Lifton for a Newsweek cover story, appeared on Charlie Rose once with me and defended the use of the bomb against Japan, so one wonders what knots he ties himself into in writing about Ike.