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Political Science
Course Code
John Haines

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POL208 – International Relations
Introduction Lecture –
Tuesday September 14th 2010
3 crucial events shaping our world, all on different levels.
Definitely a different entry to world politics
1. decision to drop bomb on Hiroshima – August 6th 1945
2. fall of the Berlin Wall – 1989 @ end of the cold war
3. 9/11
Still living with the shadow of death
Aim level of under the events
1. Hiroshima
August 6th and 8th on Nagasaki
2 nuclear bombs on civilian targets
200 000 civilians dead
1st and last use of nuclear weapons
Ended WWII captivity of Japan
How can a democratic country with principles of democracy and
dignity decided to kill innocent people
No one objected to the decision to drop it
Main reason was because U.S was at war with Japan
Every battle led to enormous U.S. casualties
Pentagon’s plan was to invade but they figured this way they
would save more American lives
Some say they would have saved more Japanese too with the nuclear
Japan wanted to fight back
N. Bomb apart of the campaign of mass armament
N. Bomb just the top of the campaign, shock and awe
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Truman – American president at the time was inexperienced with
foreign affairs, when he became president he didn’t even know
what the Manhattan project was
Faced pressure from military officials to approve of the bomb
He was just a pawn in the entire process
U.S most powerful nation to show Russia
Even though they were allies
Still had tension
Triggered the decision
Why didn’t they test the bomb to see what would happen and therefore
could also scare Japan?
Bureaucratic reason; scientists weren’t sure if the bomb would
Nobody wanted to look stupid and show Japan failure
Strategic: they only have 3 operational and 6 of them not
We didn’t know these would be enough to use or waste on just
1 = 12000 TNT
No way to defend against this bomb
Factors behind Decision
Strategic reason
Relationship with Japan
Weak president
Bureaucratic politics
**even the British and the Canadians were on board with it
2. Fall of the Berlin Wall – November 1989
Bush said if the Russian let this happen they must be serious
about reform
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