CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- AUGUST marks the anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which helped end World War II some 68 years ago.
The anniversary brings the annual debate over the ethics of using two atomic bombs to end a war that killed more than 100 million people.
Over time, we lose the American soldiers whose lives those bombs spared because they did not have to go into Japan, while the academicians opposed to a strong military expand in number.
One is now president.
"After a comprehensive review, I've determined that we can ensure the security of America and our allies, and maintain a strong and credible strategic deterrent, while reducing our deployed strategic nuclear weapons by up to one-third," Obama told Berliners in June.
"And I intend to seek negotiated cuts with Russia to move beyond Cold War nuclear postures."
Once again, Barack Obama is wrong.
That we are still having this debate 68 years later is the dog that did not bark, as Sherlock Holmes might say.
We debate the end of World War II today because there was no World War III.
There was no World War III because of how World War II ended -- with a preview of the apocalypse.
To be sure, many other factors came into play.
The Marshall Plan certainly played a role.
Rather than leaving Germany vanquished and stuck with a reparations bill, the allies split it and rebuilt it.
Free trade also helped. The rise of fascism in the 1930s coincided with a worldwide depression that trade barriers helped deepen and lengthen.
The United Nations worked where the League of Nations failed.
But there were still conflicts that threatened world peace. Consider the Soviet's blocking the other three allied powers from access to Berlin in 1948.